All persons possessing any portion of power ought to be strongly and awfully impressed with an idea that they act in trust, and that they are to account for their conduct in that trust to the one great Master, Author, and Founder of society. BurkeReflections on the Revolution in France.
To execute laws is a royal office; to execute orders is not to be a king. However, a political executive magistracy, though merely such, is a great trust. BurkeReflections on the Revolution in France.
The very essence of a free government consists in considering offices as public trusts, bestowed for the good of the country, and not for the benefit of an individual or a party. John C. CalhounSpeech. July 13, 1835.
Public officers are the servants and agents of the people, to execute laws which the people have made and within the limits of a constitution which they have established. Grover ClevelandLetter of Acceptance as Candidate for Governor. Oct. 7, 1882. See W. O. Stoddards Life of Cleveland. Ch. IX.
Your every voter, as surely as your chief magistrate, under the same high sanction, though in a different sphere, exercises a public trust. Grover ClevelandInaugural Address. March 4, 1885. See also speech in accepting the nomination to the Mayoralty of Buffalo. First Message as Mayor. Reply to the committee appointed by the Nat. Democratic Convention to inform him of his nomination to the Presidency, July 28, 1884.
Public office is a public trust, the authority and opportunities of which must be used as absolutely as the public moneys for the public benefit, and not for the purposes of any individual or party. Dorman B. EatonThe Spoils System and Civil Service Reform. Ch. III. The Merit System.
If you use your office as you would a private trust, and the moneys as trust funds, if you faithfully perform your duty, we, the people, may put you in the Presidential chair. Hon. R. P. Flower. On the night of Mr. Clevelands election as Governor of New York.
The phrase public office is a public trust, has of late become common property. Chas. SumnerSpeech in the United States Senate. May 31, 1872. According to Col. John S. Wolf, of Champaign, it originated in a decision of Justice Samuel D. Lockwood, of the Illinois Supreme Court, prior to 1840. He served from 1825 to 1848. Washington Star, May 5, 1891, assigns it to Thomas M. Cooley. See Constitutional Law. (Pub. 1880). P. 303. Charles James Fox. (1788). Sydney Smith in Edinburgh Review. (1825). WebsterBunker Hill Address. (1825). President Andrew Johnsons Message. (1867). Abram S. HewittSpeech. (1883). Daniel S. Lamont. Motto of Pamphlet. (1884).