Wendell Phillips
(*29. November 1811 Boston, Massachusetts - †2. Februar 1884 Boston, Massachusetts)

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"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty — power is ever stealing from the many to the few…. The hand entrusted with power becomes … the necessary enemy of the people. Only by continual oversight can the democrat in office be prevented from hardening into a despot: only by unintermitted Agitation can a people be kept sufficiently awake to principle not to let liberty be smothered in material prosperity."

Speech in Boston, Massachusetts (28 January 1852), Speeches Before the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society (1853), p. 13. The memorable and oft-quoted phrase, "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty," was not in quotation marks in the printed edition of this speech. It has also been attributed to Patrick Henry