“If any should say, it is in vain for them as individuals to be vigilant, zealous and firm in pursuing any measures for the security of our rights, unless all would unite: I would reply:
Ages are composed of seconds, the earth of sands, and the sea of drops, too small to be seen by the naked eye. The smallest particles have their influence.
Such is our state, that each individual has a proportion of influence on some neighbor at least; he, on another, and so on; as in a river, the following drop urges that which is before, and every one through the whole length of the stream has like influence.
We know not, what individuals may do. We are not at liberty to lie dormant until we can, at once, influence the whole. We must begin with the weight we have. Should the little springs neglect to flow till a general agreement should take place, the torrent that now bears down all before it, would never be formed.
These mighty floods have their rise in single drops from the rocks, which, uniting, creep along till they meet with another combination so small that it might be absorbed by the travelers foot. These unite, proceed, enlarge, till mountains tremble at their sound.
Let us receive instruction from the streams, and without discouragement, pursue a laudable plan.”
-- Nathaniel Niles
"We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
-- Benjamin Franklin, at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, 1776
"Although all men are born free, slavery has been the general lot of the human race. Ignorant – they have been cheated; asleep they have been surprised; divided – the yoke has been forced upon them. But what is the lesson?…the people ought to be enlightened, to be awakened, to be united, that after establishing a government they should watch over it…It is universally admitted that a well-instructed people alone can be permanently free."
-- James Madison
"We are either a United people, or we are not. If the former, let us, in all maters of general concern act as a nation, which have national objects to promote, and a national character to support. If we are not, let us no longer act a farce by pretending to it."
--George Washington, letter to James Madison, 1785