There will be found to exist at all times an imperious necessity for restraining all the functionaries of the Government within the range of their respective powers thereby preserving a just balance between the powers granted to this Government and those reserved to the States and to the people."
- President John Tyler
"The people of this country, if ever they lose their liberties, will do it by sacrificing some great principle of government to temporary passion. There are certain great principles, which if they are not held inviolable, at all seasons, our liberty is gone. If we give them up, it is perfectly immaterial what is the character of our sovereign; whether he be King or President, elective or hereditary it is perfectly immaterial what is his character we shall be slaves it is not an elective government which will preserve us."
- John Randolph of Roanoke
"The separation of Church and State is a very different thing from the separation of religion and the State."
- James Henley Thornwell
"... I shouted sic semper before I fired ... our country owed all her troubles to him ... The country is not what it was. This forced union is not what I have loved. I care not what becomes of me. I have no desire to outlive my country.... For doing what Brutus was honored for, and what made William Tell a Hero ... yet I, for striking down a greater tyrant than they ever knew am looked upon as a common cutthroat. My action was purer than either of their's. One hoped to be great himself. The other had not only his country's, but his own wrongs to avenge. I hoped for no gain. I knew no private wrong. I struck for my country and that alone. A country groaned beneath this tyranny and prayed for this end."
- John Wilks Booth, written in his diary prior to his execution
"As a Confederate soldier and as a Virginian, I deny the charge [that the Confederates were rebels] and denounce it as a calumny. We were not rebels, we did not fight to perpetuate human slavery, but for our rights and privileges under a government established over us by our fathers and in defense of our homes."
- Richard Henry Lee, in an 1893 speech