Quotes by New Englanders
To the European, a Yankee is an American.
To an American, a Yankee is a New Englander.
To a New Englander, a Yankee is a Vermonter.
To a Vermonter, a Yankee is someone who eats apple pie for breakfast.
And to a Vermonter who eats apple pie for breakfast
a Yankee is someone who eats it with a knife.
~An old Yankee joke
"What New England is, is a state of mind, a place where dry humor and
perpetual disappointment blend to produce an ironic pessimism that folks from
away find most perplexing." ~ Willem Lange
"To the rest of the country, New England has always stood in much the same
relation as England has to America -- that of spiritual homeland and mother
country." ~ B.A. Botkin, author of A Treasury of New England Folklore
"When people who have never lived in New Hampshire or Vermont visit here,
they often say they feel like they've come home. Our urban center, commercial
districts, small villages and industrial enterprises are set amid farmlands and
forests. This is a landscape in which the natural and built environments are
balanced on a human scale. This delicate balance is the nature of our
"community character." It's important to strengthen our distinctive, traditional
settlement patterns to counteract the commercial and residential sprawl that
upsets this balance and destroys our economic and social stability."
~ Richard J. Eward, Proud to Live Here.
New England Proverbs
"You can't keep trouble from coming, but you don't have to give it a chair to sit
"Small circumstances produce great events"
"Wishing isn't doing."
"The world is your cow. But you have to do the milking."
"It won't be warm till the snow gets off the mountain, and the snow won't get off
the mountain till it gets warm."
"You can't always tell by the looks of a toad how far he can jump."
"Talk less and say more"
"He who feels the benefit should feel the burden."
"One today is worth two tomorrows."
"A good word now is worth ten on a headstone."
"A deaf husband and a blind wife are always a happy couple."
"The hardest work is to do nothing."
"Take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves."
"Money is flat and meant to be piled."
"Cut your sail according to your cloth."
"We have two seasons: winter and the Fourth of July."
"In New England we have nine months of winter and three months of darned
"Take off your flannels before the first of May, and you'll have a doctor's bill to
"Thick and blue, tried and true. Thin or crispy, way too risky." (proverb about
the safety of ice)
"An ounce of experience is worth a pound of theory."
"The quickest way to do many things is to do one thing at a time."
* * *
Henry Ward Beecher
"It is not the going out of port, but the coming in,
that determines the success of the voyage."
"Every tomorrow has two handles: We can take hold the handle of anxiety or the
handle of faith."
"Every man should be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh
page. Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one,
according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself
once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were
and are past."
"Many of our troubles are God dragging us, and they would end if we would
stand upon our feet and go whither He would have us go."
"The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a
strong will, and the other from a strong won't."
"The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep
through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour,
some heavenly blessings!"
* * *
Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley
"...But always, from the very beginning, it was snowflakes that fascinated me
most. The farm folks, up in this north country, dread the winter; but I was
supremely happy, from the day of the first snowfall-which usually came in
November-until the last one, which sometimes came as late as May."
"Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty; and it
seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others.
Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated.
When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty
was gone, without leaving any record behind."
* * *
30th President of the United States, born in Plymouth, Vermont. (1872-1933)
"We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once."
* * *
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Author, Poet & Philosopher (1803-1882)
"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path, and
leave a trail."
"What I need most is somebody to make me
do what I can."
"Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing on one's own sunshine."
""Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful,
we must carry it with us, or we find it not."
"This time, like all times, is a very good one if we but know what to do with it."
"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there
is of you."
"Life is a festival only to the wise."
"Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.
The more experiments you make the better. "
"God hides things by putting them near us."
"We become what we think about all day long."
* * *
"Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper
or your self-confidence."
"What is required is sight and insight -- then you might
add one more: excite."
"Nature is always hinting at us"
"The best way out is always through."
"Don't ever take a fence down
until you know why it was put up."
* * *
Doris "Granny D" Haddock
"Small towns make up for their lack of people by having everyone be more
* * *
Short-story writer and novelist (1804-1864)
"New England is quite as large a lump of earth as my heart can really take in."
* * *
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Poet & Author (1809 - 1894)
"Where we stand is not as important as the direction in which we are moving."
"Knowledge and timber shouldn't be used
until they are seasoned."
* * *
James Russell Lowell, Poet (1819-1891)
"All the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action."
* * *
Henry David Thoreau,
Author, Poet & Philospher (1817-1862)
"It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, 'What are we busy
"Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes."
"We need the tonic of wildness, to wade sometimes in marshes where the bittern
and the meadow-hen lurk, and hear the booming of the snipe; to smell the
whispering sedge where only the wilder and more solitary fowl builds her nest,
and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground. We can never have
enough of nature. We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor, vast
and titanic features, the sea-coast with its wrecks, the wilderness with its living
and its decaying trees, the thunder cloud, and the rain which lasts weeks and
produces freshets. We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some
life pasturing freely where we never wander..."
"It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things"
* * *
"The Yankee: In acuteness and perseverance, he resembles the Scotch. In frugal
neatness, he resembles the Dutch. But in truth, a Yankee is nothing else on earth
* * *
US humorist, novelist, short story author, & wit
(1835 - 1910)
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people
always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become