"A long visit to a friend is often a great bore. Never make people twice glad."
Speaking of boring, James Buchanan was the only president never to marry. He was also one of the worst presidents of all time, as his policies contributed towards issues that sparked the American Civil War.
"When one side only of a story is heard and often repeated, the human mind becomes impressed with it insensibly."
Washington wrote this line as a part of a letter to Edmund Pendleton in 1795. He was referring to the idea that Native Americans were likely to dislike white settlers for their expansionism, no matter what the government did to appease the natives.
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence."
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Coolidge followed that immortal with these bits of wisdom: "Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb ... Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."
Lincoln was well aware of the corrupting influence of power. He wanted to disseminate power throughout the states when the Civil War ended in hopes of speeding up the reconciliation process but was assassinated before he could.
"The storm of frenzy and faction must inevitably dash itself in vain against the unshaken rock of the Constitution."
Pierce's support of policies such as the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Fugitive Slave Act actually heightened conflict across the land during the mid-1850s. His presidency was one of the worst, helping to fuel the fires of secessionism.
"May the boldest fear and the wisest tremble when incurring responsibilities on which may depend our country's peace and prosperity, and in some degree the hopes and happiness of the whole human family."
William Henry Harrison
Polk was a bold man who accomplished all of his campaign goals after he became president. Once his term was up in 1849, he kept his pledge not to run for president again.
"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing."
Abraham Lincoln suffered from depression throughout his life, even at the heights of his presidency. But he found the strength to triumph over his personal demons as he helped the nation overcome its hardships.
"Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in."
Martin Van Buren
Jackson was a man of action. During the American Revolution, he was just 13 when he was captured by the British for his work as a courier. Before becoming president, he was a war hero at the Battle of New Orleans.
"I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it."
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman only had one child (Margaret) but he had the wisdom to guide her passions and desires. Truman had the same knack for guiding reluctant troops on the battlefield, as he proved time and again during World War I.
"I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth will starve in the process."
John F. Kennedy
Benjamin Harrison was a lawyer and Union colonel who became the 23rd president. He passed important economic policies like the McKinley Tariff, which provided protective trade rates. He was also heavily involved in creating the Sherman Antitrust Act.
"Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from the great theatre of Action."
James K. Polk
In 1783, less than 10 years after the American Revolution, George Washington address Congress with this line. His leadership and heroism (and his elegant language) meant that he left behind a plethora of good quotes by which to remember him.
No word if Chester Arthur was any good at ball, but he certainly stood up for his beliefs. As a young, politically active student, he once got into a fistfight in support of Henry Clay, who was running against James Polk.