Woodrow Wilson Quotes

Your real statesman is first of all, and chief of all, a great human being, with an eye for all the great fields on which men like himself struggle, with unflagging, pathetic hope, toward better things.... He is a guide, a counselor, a mentor, a servant, a friend of mankind.
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), U.S. president. Presidential address, December 27, 1910, to the American Political Science Association. The Public Papers of Woodrow Wilson, vol. 22, p. 271, ed. Arthur S. Link. This address was delivered just before Wilson threw himself into the world of politics. It was his farewell to the scholarly world.
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The light that shined upon the summit now seems almost to shine at our feet.
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), U.S. president. Address in Rome (January 3, 1919). On his triumphant post-armistice tour of Italy, Wilson was speaking for a passing mood of idealism and hope.
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It recognizes no morality but a sham morality meant for deceit, no honor even among thieves and of a thievish sort, no force but physical force, no intellectual power but cunning, no disgrace but failure, no crime but stupidity.
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), U.S. president. Notes, c. February 6, 1887, for classroom lectures. The Public Papers of Woodrow Wilson, vol. 5, p. 490, ed. Arthur S. Link. Wilson was speaking of Machiavelli's The Prince.
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The true shepherd of his flock, the majesty of whose spiritual authority awed even the unscrupulous enemy.
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), U.S. president. Address, June 19, 1919, to the Belgian Parliament. Wilson's tribute to a famous churchman, Cardinal Mercier, known for his defiance of the Germans. The quotation is from an extemporaneous speech.
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I believe very profoundly in an over-ruling Providence, and I do not fear that any real plans can be thrown off the track. It may not be intended that I shall be President—but that would not break my heart.
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), U.S. president. Letter, January 7, 1912, to Mary H.P. Hulbert. The Public Papers of Woodrow Wilson, vol. 24, p. 6, ed. Arthur S. Link. Wilson was writing to a friend in the midst of the presidential campaign of 1912. Providence, of course, did intend that he should be President!
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When they [the American soldiers] came, they found fit comrades for their courage and their devotion.... Joining hands with them, the men of America gave the greatest of all gifts, the gift of life and the gift of spirit.
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), U.S. president. Address, Memorial Day, 1919. Wilson was speaking in the cemetery at Suresnes, outside Paris, amid the graves of American soldiers most of whom had died in the advance on Chateau Thierry.
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I am not sure that it is of the first importance that you should be happy. Many an unhappy man has been of deep service to himself and to the world.
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), U.S. president. Baccalaureate address, June 7, 1908, at Princeton University. The Public Papers of Woodrow Wilson, vol. 18, p. 326, ed. Arthur S. Link. Wilson was speaking as a stern Calvinist. More interesting, he was reconciling himself to his own unhappiness, being at the time in the midst of a love affair.
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There is little for the great part of the history of the world except the bitter tears of pity and the hot tears of wrath.
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), U.S. president. Address, September 13, 1919, at Oakland, California. Wilson was speaking extemporaneously on his last western tour on behalf of the League of Nations.
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The profession I chose was politics; the profession I entered was the law. I entered the one because I thought it would lead to the other. It was once the same road; and Congress is [s]till full of lawyers.
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), U.S. president. Letter, October 30, 1883, to Ellen Axson. The Public Papers of Woodrow Wilson, vol. 1, p. 500, ed. Arthur S. Link.
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Open covenants of peace openly arrived at
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), U.S. president. Address to Congress declaring the Fourteen Points (January 6, 1918). Wilson later explained that the famous phrase did not preclude private negotiations. What was important was that the results be public.
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