Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.
John Quincy Adams (17671848)
Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her [Americas] heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause, by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself, beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force . She might become the dictatress of the world: she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, An Address Celebrating the Anniversary of Independence, at the City of Washington on the Fourth of July 1821 , p. 32 (1821).
This appears with minor variations in punctuation and with italics in the phrase change from liberty to force, in John Quincy Adams and American Continental Empire, ed. Walter LaFeber, p. 45 (1965).