John Adams Quotes (143 Quotes)


    They shall not be expected to acknowledge us until we have acknowledged ourselves.

    When people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking or thinking I cannot choose but laugh. No such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists; but I hope it will exist. But it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more.

    It has escaped no one's attention that celebrating Minimalism in the context of a symphony orchestra is admittedly a problematic fit. Most of the best Minimalist music is not scored for conventional orchestra. But the Los Angeles Philharmonic, being an orchestra that is not only a hundred-piece ensemble but also an amalgam of distinct, highly talented performers, found many ways to make a successful survey of this magnitude.

    The manners of women are the surest criterion by which to determine whether a republican government is practicable in a nation or not

    You will never be alone with a poet in your pocket.


    They really need something like that. A lot of times it probably wouldn't help, especially if you got an explosion, but it might help the survivors. It would be a good idea.

    I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.

    'A government of laws and not of men.' Adams published articles in 1774 in the Boston, Massachusetts, Gazette using the pseudonym 'Novanglus.' In this paper he credited James Harrington with expressing the idea this way. Harrington described government as 'the empire of laws and not of men' in his 1656 work, The Commonwealth of Oceana, p. 35 (1771). The phrase gained wider currency when Adams used it in the Massachusetts Constitution, Bill of Rights, article 30 (1780). Works, vol. 4, p. 230.

    The Bible contains the revelation of the will of God. It contains the history of the creation of the world, and of mankind.

    Adams said Harrison was a generous friend and wise mentor ... decisive influence in my life.

    The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this Continent to the other from this time forward forever more.

    Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.

    My fixed principle never to be the tool of any man, nor the partisan of any nation, would forever exclude me from the smiles and favors or courts

    This mode of electioneering suited neither my taste nor my principles. I thought it equally unsuitable to my personal character and to the station in which I am placed.

    The deliberate union of so great and various a people in such a place, is without all partiality or prejudice, if not the greatest exertion of human understanding, the greatest single effort of national deliberation that the world has ever seen.

    I've seen a lot of convention centers. But this building is truly special The feel. The light. The vibe is terrific.

    Statesmen...may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand.... The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People, in a greater Measure, than they have it now, They may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty.

    The right of a nation to kill a tyrant in case of necessity can no more be doubted than to hang a robber, or kill a flea.

    I would define liberty to be a power to do as we would be done by. The definition of liberty to be the power of doing whatever the law permits, meaning the civil laws, does not seem satisfactory.

    I have accepted a seat in the House of Representatives, and thereby have consented to my own ruin, to your ruin, and to the ruin of our children. I give you this warning that you may prepare your mind for your fate.

    Everyone is stable at this time. If their condition appears to weaken, they will be brought to the hospital and either fed intravenously or nose fed,

    It is essential... that you should form and adopt certain rules or principles, for the government of your own conduct and temper. Unless you have such rules and principles, there will be numberless occasions on which you will have no guide for your government but your passions... It is in the Bible, you must learn them, and from the Bible how to practice them.

    A democracy is as really a republic as on oak a tree, or a temple a building

    The most important gap is that a whole host of disorders, called blood disorders, have been forgotten and omitted.

    It is wrong to admit into the Constitution the idea that there can be property in man

    I have lived long enough, and had experience enough of the conduct of governments and people, nations and courts, to be convinced that gratitude, friendship, unsuspecting confidence, and all the amiable passions in human nature, are the most dangerou

    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.

    But America is a great, unwieldy Body. Its Progress must be slow. It is like a large Fleet sailing under Convoy. The fleetest Sailors must wait for the dullest and slowest. Like a Coach and sixthe swiftest Horses must be slackened and the slowest quickened, that all may keep an even Pace.

    The universal object and idol of men of letters is reputation

    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.

    Keeping an army in America has been nothing but a public nuisance.

    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.

    Happiness, whether in despotism or democracy, whether in slavery or liberty, can never be found without virtue

    If we do not lay out ourselves in the service of mankind whom should we serve?

    Democracy... while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.

    The essence of a free government consists in an effectual control of rivalries.

    The most sensible and jealous people are so little attentive to government that there are no instances of resistance until repeated, multiplied oppressions have placed it beyond a doubt that their rulers had formed settled plans to deprive them of th

    The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning.... And ever since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate A FREE INQUIRY The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality, is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will soon find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your eyes and hand, and fly into your face and eyes.

    Thomas Jefferson still survives ... (Actually, Jefferson had died earlier that same day, Independence Day, July 4, 1826)

    Birth and wealth together have prevailed over virtue and talent in all ages

    I made the four minutes of the prelude entirely with the sound of hand-tools. At one point it sounds to me like you're inside an electron accelerator. And I've used recordings made by US Marines in 1945 in the Pacific Ocean, which give an idea of the sound and texture of that time.

    Power always thinks... that it is doing God's service when it is violating all his laws.

    It was a matter of please don't kill me. I kept hollering out at them 'save us save us save yourself don't kill us trying to make them feel some sort of guilt.

    Duncan's counsel simply cannot be prepared to try three homicide cases in such a short period of time.

    Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak.

    I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in providence, for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.

    The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles.

    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.

    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.

    It ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade, ... with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other ...


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    Thomas Jefferson - Theodore Roosevelt - John F. Kennedy - Abraham Lincoln - Woodrow Wilson - Lyndon B. Johnson - James Monroe - James Madison - James A. Garfield - Gerald R. Ford


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