John Adams

1735 - 1826

A Quote by John Adams on atheism, belief, blindness, eternity, fate, men, and nations

The Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation. If I were an atheist, and believed in blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: Letter to F. A. Van der Kamp, February 16, 1809.

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A Quote by John Adams on honesty, influence, people, and simplicity

The rich, the well-born, and the able, acquire an influence among the people that will soon be too much for simple honesty and plain sense, in a house of representatives. The most illustrious of them must, therefore, be separated from the mass, and placed by themselves in a senate; this is, to all honest and useful intents, an ostracism.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, vol. 1 (vol. 4 of The Works of John Adams, ed. Charles Francis Adams), Preface, p. 290 (1851). First published in 1787.

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A Quote by John Adams on certainty, life, and presidency

Had I been chosen President again, I am certain I could not have lived another year.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

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A Quote by John Adams on awareness, gloom, glory, god, posterity, support, trust, and worth

I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States.-Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will triumph in that Days Transaction, even although We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: letter to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776.—Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield, vol. 2, p. 31 (1963).

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A Quote by John Adams on commitment, democracy, murder, and suicide

Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: letter to John Taylor, April 15, 1814.—The Works of John Adams, ed. Charles Francis Adams, vol. 6, p. 484 (1851).

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A Quote by John Adams on agriculture, architecture, art, children, duty, government, history, liberty, mathematics, negotiation, order, painting, philosophy, poetry, politics, science, sons, study, war, and wives

The Science of Government it is my duty to study, more than all other Sciences: the Art of Legislation and Administration and Negotiation, ought to take place, indeed to exclude in a manner all other Arts.-I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematics and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematics and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine. This letter has not been dated precisely, but appears to have been written after Adams's letter to his wife on May 12, and before one written to her on May 15.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: letter to Abigail Adams, after May 12, 1780.—Adams Family Correspondence, ed. L. H. Butterfield, vol. 3, p. 342 (1973).

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A Quote by John Adams on facts and wishes

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: 'Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials,' December 1770

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A Quote by John Adams on fear and government

Fear is the foundation of most governments.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: Thoughts on Government, 1776

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A Quote by John Adams on catholicism, christianity, church, day, inventions, miracles, and niceness

Indeed, Mr. Jefferson, what could be invented to debase the ancient Christianism, which Greeks, Romans, Hebrews and Christian factions, above all the Catholics, have not fraudulently imposed upon the public? Miracles after miracles have rolled down in torrents, wave succeeding wave in the Catholic church, from the Council of Nice, and long before, to this day.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: To Jefferson, December 3, 1813.

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A Quote by John Adams on citizenship, defense, discretion, individuality, and privacy

Arms in the hands of citizens [may] be used at individual discretion . . . in private self-defense.

John Adams (1735 - 1826)

Source: A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, 1787

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