A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Q: What do you get when you mix beans and onions? A: Tear gas.” (9/1)
“What’s the difference between beer nuts and deer nuts?” (joke) (9/1)
“My wife made me join a bridge club—I jump off next Tuesday” (9/1)
“Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught” (8/31)
“I eat cake because it’s somebody’s birthday somewhere” (8/31)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from April 24, 2010
“A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman of the next generation”

"A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman of the next generation” is credited to American preacher James Freeman Clarke (1810-1888), whose authorship was cited in 1870.

The full quotation (from a publication called Old and New) is rarely recorded in modern anthologies: “A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman of the next generation. A politician looks for the success of his party; a statesman for that of the country. The statesman wished to steer, while the politician was satisfied to drift.”


Wikipedia: James Freeman Clarke
James Freeman Clarke (April 4, 1810 – June 8, 1888), an American preacher and author.

3 February 1870, Cincinnati (OH) Daily Gazette, pg. 1:
James Freeman Clarke says: “A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman of the next generation. A politician looks for the success of his party; a statesman for that of the country. The statesman wished to steer, while the politician was satisfied to drift.”

18 February 1870, Jamestown (NY) Journal, pg. 1:
James Freeman Clarke says: “A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman of the next generation. A politician looks for the success of his party; a statesman for that of his country. The statesman wished to steer, while the politician was satisfied to drift.”

9 August 1883, Cambridge City (IN) Tribune, “Gems of Thought,” pg. 1, col. 6:
A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman of the next generation; a politician looks for the success of his party; a statesman for that of his country. The statesman wishes to steer, while the politician is satisfied to drift.

1 September 1883, Mountain Democrat (Placerville, CA), “Sayings of Sages,” pg. 4, col. 3:
A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman of the next generation; a politician looks for the success of his party; a statesman for that of his country. The statesman wishes to steer, while the politician is satisfied to drift.

Google Books
September 1888, Frank Leslie’s Sunday Magazine, pg. 234, col. 2:
THE American, of Philadelphia, says of James Freeman Clarke, the eminent Unitarian preacher who died recently of Boston: “He ought to be remembered for his saying, ‘The politician thinks of the next election; the statesman, of the next century.’”

Google Books
Wit and Humor of Well-Known Quotations
By Marshall Brown
Boston, MA: Small, Maynard & Co.
1905 [1904]
Pg. 230:
A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman of the next generation. A politician looks for the success of his party; a statesman, for that of the country. The statesman wishes to steer, while the politician is satisfied to drift.—James Freeman Clarke.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (1) Comments • Saturday, April 24, 2010 • Permalink


A variation of the same aphorism, “A politician looks forward only to the next election; a statesman looks forward to the next generation.” is attributed to Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826). Could James Freeman Clarke have copied it from Jefferson?

Posted by VOXINDICA  on  01/11  at  02:01 AM

Page 1 of 1 pages