John Adams

1735 - 1826

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 blessings, gold, heaven, honesty, men, presidency, and quotations

I Pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessing on THIS HOUSE, and on All that shall hereafter Inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof! President Franklin D. Roosevelt had this lettered in gold in the marble over the fireplace in the State Dining Room of the White House. The quotation above follows the capitalization used in the inscription.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

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A Quote by John Adams on aristocracy, power, and presidency

You are apprehensive of monarchy; I, of aristocracy. I would therefore have given more power to the President and less to the Senate.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

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A Quote by John Adams on america, art, communication, country, curiosity, destruction, earth, freedom, honor, information, power, readiness, sacred, service, slander, tenderness, thinking, and writing

But none of the means of information are more sacred, or have been cherished with more tenderness and care by the settlers of America, than the press. Care has been taken that the art of printing should be encouraged, and that it should be easy and cheap and safe for any person to communicate his thoughts to the public. And you, Messieurs printers, whatever the tyrants of the earth may say of your paper, have done important service to your country by your readiness and freedom in publishing the speculations of the curious. The stale, impudent insinuations of slander and sedition with which the gormandizers of power have endeavored to discredit your paper are so much the more to your honor; for the jaws of power are always opened to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law, 1765.

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A Quote by John Adams on existence, expectation, influence, laws, society, and struggle

In every society where property exists there will ever be a struggle between rich and poor. Mixed in one assembly, equal laws can never be expected; they will either be made by the member to plunder the few who are rich, or by the influence to fleece the many who are poor.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: Quoted by Senator Estes Kefauver, with the remark: "A remarkable anticipation of the basic presumption of Marxism."

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A Quote by John Adams on anarchy, force, god, ideas, justice, laws, sacred, society, and tyranny

The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: Letter

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A Quote by John Adams on liberty and mankind

Property is surely a right of mankind as real as liberty.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law, 1765

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A Quote by John Adams

I read my eyes out and can't read half enough. . . . The more one reads the more one sees we have to read.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: letter to Abigail Adams, December 28, 1794.—Adams papers, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.

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