John Adams

1735 - 1826

A Quote by John Adams on country, imagination, and inventions

My country has contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

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A Quote by John Adams on abuse, society, and words

Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: To J. H. Tiffany, March 31, 1819.

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A Quote by John Adams on danger, difficulty, mankind, politicians, problems, and present

If there is ever an amelioration of the condition of mankind, philosophers, theologians, legislators, politicians and moralists will find that the regulation of the press is the most difficult, dangerous and important problem they have to resolve. Mankind cannot now be governed without it, nor at present with it.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: Letter to James Lord, February 11, 1815.

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A Quote by John Adams on books, christianity, heresy, and order

What havoc has been made of books through every century of the Christian era? Where are fifty gospels, condemned as spurious by the bull of Pope Gelasius? Where are the forty wagon-loads of Hebrew manuscripts burned in France, by order of another pope, because suspected of heresy? Remember the index expurgatorius, the inquisition, the stake, the axe, the halter, and the guillotine.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: Letter to John Taylor, The Life and Works of John Adams, Boston, 1851, v. 6,

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A Quote by John Adams on consequences, history, ideas, people, revolution, and war

As to the history of the revolution, my ideas may be peculiar perhaps singular. What do we mean by the revolution? The war? That was no part of the revolution; it was only an effect and consequence of it. The revolution was in the minds of the people, and this was effected from 1760 to 1775, in the course of fifteen years, before a drop of blood was shed at Lexington.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: letter to Thomas Jefferson, August 24, 1815.—The Works of John Adams, ed. Charles Francis Adams, vol. 10, p. 172 (1856).

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A Quote by John Adams on change, people, principles, radicals, revolution, and war

The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the hearts and minds of the people.... This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: To Hezekiah Niles, February 13, 1818.

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A Quote by John Adams on america, congress, decisions, difficulty, enemies, life, nations, people, rebellion, revolution, struggle, time, and trouble

You say that at the time of the Congress, in 1765, "The great mass of the people were zealous in the cause of America." "The great mass of the people" is an expression that deserves analysis. New York and Pennsylvania were so nearly divided, if their propensity was not against us, that if New England on one side and Virginia on the other had not kept them in awe, they would have joined the British. Marshall, in his life of Washington, tells us, that the southern States were nearly equally divided. Look into the Journals of Congress, and you will see how seditious, how near rebellion were several counties of New York, and how much trouble we had to compose them. The last contest, in the town of Boston, in 1775, between Whig and Tory, was decided by five against two. Upon the whole, if we allow two thirds of the people to have been with us in the revolution, is not the allowance ample? Are not two thirds of the nation now with the administration? Divided we ever have been, and ever must be. Two thirds always had and will have more difficulty to struggle with the one third than with all our foreign enemies. He referred to a Congress "held at New York, A.D. 1765, on the subject of the American stamp act" (p. 62).

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: letter to Thomas McKean, August 31, 1813.—The Works of John Adams, ed. Charles Francis Adams, vol. 10, p. 63 (1856).

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A Quote by John Adams on christianity, existence, judaism, legends, religion, and understanding

As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: Letter to F. A. Van der Kamp, December 27, 1816.

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A Quote by John Adams on catholicism, company, earth, eternity, hell, men, and merit

I do not like the late resurrection of the Jesuits. . . . If ever any congregation of men could merit eternal perdition on earth, and in hell, according to these historians, though, like Pascal, true Catholics, it is this company of Loyolas.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: Letter to Jefferson, May 5, 1816. Official edition, Writings of Thomas

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A Quote by John Adams on history, improvement, mankind, mind, progress, revolution, and society

My History of the Jesuits is in four volumes.... This society has been a greater calamity to mankind than the French Revolution, or Napoleon's despotism or ideology. It has obstructed progress of reformation and the improvement of the human mind in society much longer and more fatally.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: To Jefferson, November 4, 1816.

Contributed by: Zaady

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