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.

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Entry from March 08, 2015
“Cowards never start; the weak never finish; winners never quit”

"Cowards never start; the weak never finish; winners never quit” is a popular motivational slogan that has been printed on many posters.  “The cowards never started and the weak died on the way” is often incorrectly attributed to American frontiersman Kit Carson (1809-1868) talking about the Oregon Trail, but the saying comes from American poet and frontiersman Joaquin Miller (1837-1913) talking about the Forty-niners in California’s gold rush of 1849. “The cowards dared not risk the long voyage—and the weak died on the way,” Miller said in 1872.

“Cowards Never Start—Only The Strong Survive” was a church sermon in 1965. “Cowards never start, Losers never finish, Winners never quit” was cited in print in 2007 and is of uncertain authorship. The last two lines are similar to an old and popular saying, “A winner never quits and a quitter never wins.” “Cowards never start, the weak die along the way, only the strong survive” was cited on Twitter on April 14, 2009.

“COWARDS never start, The WEAK never finish, WINNERS never quit” was cited on Twitter on April 12, 2012.


Wikipedia: Joaquin Miller
Cincinnatus Heine Miller /ˌsɪnsɨˈneɪtəs ˈhaɪnə ˈmɪlər/ (September 8, 1837 – February 17, 1913), better known by his pen name Joaquin Miller /ˌhwɑːˈkiːn/, was a colorful American poet and frontiersman. He is nicknamed the “Poet of the Sierras” after the Sierra Nevada, about which he wrote in his Songs of the Sierras (1871).

Wikipedia: Oregon Trail
Between 1840 and 1860, the population of the United States rose by 14 million, yet only about 300,000 decided to make the trip. Many that went were between the ages 12 and 24. Between 1860 and 1870, the U.S. population increased by seven million, with about 350,000 of this increase being in the Western states. Many were discouraged by the cost, effort and danger of the trip. Western scout Kit Carson reputedly said, “The cowards never started and the weak died on the way.” According to several sources, 3 to 10 percent of the emigrants are estimated to have perished on the way west.

13 December 1872, The Oregonian (Portland, OR), pg. 4, col. 1:
Joaquin Miller Interview Again.
The Cincinnati correspondent of the Pittsburg Gazette has interviewed Joaquin Miller and the result is put down as follows:
(...)
Joaquin—“Ah! It (California and the West—ed.) is a beautiful country, and you will find when you go there that I have not over-drawn the picture. It has been my aim to paint it faithfully and clearly. The trees are beautiful, the lakes are clear as crystal, the heavens seem to me more blue there than in any other country. The hills are brown, and the stars as large as lilies—and the population is composed of true men—the truest and bravest God ever made; those who went there and settled there years ago, were men of brave hearts. The cowards dared not risk the long voyage—and the weak died on the way.”

Google Books
January 1881, The Californian, “Old Californians” by Joaquin Miller, pg. 48, col. 1:
The cowards did not start to the Pacific Coast in the old days; all the weak died on the way. And so it was that we had then not only a race of giants, but of gods.

Google Books
November 1881, The Californian, “One of the World-Builders” by Joaquin Miller, pg. 398, col. 1:
Yes; that energy that took me through twenty-five years of toil; that energy that brought me to this coast when the cowards did not start here, when the weak died on the way – shall not fail me now.

16 June 1884, Watertown (NY) Daily Times, “Sketches of Life,” pg. 1, col. 4:
Justice Stephen J. Field is a “hero” to Joaquin Miller, because he went to California in ‘49, “when the cowards did not start there and the weak die on the way.”

27 August 1892, The Times (Trenton, NJ), “Going Home” by Joaquin Miller (San Francisco Call), pg. 2, col. 1:
The first “going home” I ever saw was on Humbug creek, northern California, in the winter of 1854. I tell you it took men of grit to get there. The cowards had never started there, and the weak died on the way, so they were a powerful and select lot of men, and it took nerve, time and dust, too, to get away from there.

Chronicling America
30 January 1910, New York (NY) Tribune, Sunday Magazine, pg. 14, col. 2:
Nor are the men here cited exceptions. Such types are the rule; possibly, very likely, in fact because, precisely as Joaquin Miller once explained the high type of the average California Forty-niner by contending that “the cowards never started and the weak died on the road,” so do few feeble of body or soul ever ship for Central African ports.

20 October 1926, San Diego (CA) Union, “Half Minute Interviews” by Forrest Warren, pg. 9, col. 3:
“In the words of Joaquin Miller, ‘Cowards never started—the weak ones died on the way.’”

22 December 1933, Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch, “The Sport Critic” by Charles Houston, pg. 18, col. 6:
That West Coast Slogan
George Trevor found somewhere the West Coast slogan—“the cowards never started; the weaklings died on the way; that’s what makes the native sons what they are today.”

4 December 1965, The Evening Star (Washington, DC), pg. A-6, col. 7 ad:
THE NATIONAL CITY CHRISTIAN CHURCH
Jan. 2—“Cowards Never Start—Only The Strong Survive”

Scribd.com
Overcoming Adversity/Fear/Procrastination
Published by Khushboo Khandelwal
(...)
Courage Page
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
5:20 PM
Cowards never start, Losers never finish, Winners never quit.

Twitter
J Mitch
‏@jmitch27
is realizing the cowards never start, the weak die along the way, only the strong survive
10:42 AM - 14 Apr 2009

Twitter
Tim Ginyard
‏@Bigman24
RT @BuildMuscleNet: Cowards never start...the weak never finish~real talk!
7:32 PM - 29 Jun 2009

Twitter
D LOVE
‏@EmergingOne
COWARDS NEVER START,THE WEAK NEVER FINISH,ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE!!!! I swear it’s true!!!
9:03 PM - 11 Jul 2009

Twitter
Tiago Fernandez
‏@tiagofernandez
“Cowards never start, losers never finish, winners never quit.”—Mark Twain
8:42 AM - 24 Mar 2010

Twitter
JayneJohnson
‏@JayneJohnson
“Cowards never start and the weak die along the way.” ~attributed to Kit Carson http://bit.ly/bIuw2R
11:04 AM - 26 Apr 2010

Twitter
Tasha
‏@BosStylist
RT @QuaniPR: RT @UntamedTruth010: #BOSSMOVEMENT cowards never start,the weak never finish,n only the strong (cont) http://tl.gd/1fh8d6
8:54 PM - 24 May 2010

Twitter
Claudia Jordan
‏@claudiajordan
I like this Quote “COWARDS NEVER START,THE WEAK NEVER FINISH,ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE” courtesy of my girl @UntamedTruth010
10:20 PM - 6 Sep 2010

Twitter
kpinkkkk
‏@KushhBabeBitch
COWARDS never start, The WEAK never finish, WINNERS never quit.
4:06 PM - 12 Apr 2012

Google Groups: AGENT.AE | UAE Real Estate Agents
Morning Minute
Agent.ae
5/5/13
Cowards never start.
The weak never finish.
Winners never quit.

The Star (Malaysia)
Published: Wednesday October 23, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday October 23, 2013 MYT 8:58:25 AM
Post-accident accolades tribute to bodybuilder’s strength and determination
BY AIDA AHMAD
BODYBUILDER Badrul Shah Baharuddin now constantly sets off the metal detectors when he walks through airport security.
(...)
Badrul also has his own personal training business with the motto “Cowards never start. The weak never finish. Winners never quit.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityExercise/Running/Health Clubs • Sunday, March 08, 2015 • Permalink