> Author Index > A - Authors > Abigail Adams Quotes

Abigail Adams Quotes


The wife of John Adams, the second President of the United States.
(1744 - 1818)

Pages: 12Next

A little of what you call frippery is very necessary towards looking like the rest of the world.
 

Arbitrary power is like most other things which are very hard, very liable to be broken.
 

Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could.
 

Great necessities call out great virtues.
 

How difficult the task to quench the fire and the pride of private ambition, and to sacrifice ourselves and all our hopes and expectations to the public weal! How few have souls capable of so noble an undertaking! How often are the laurels worn by those who have had no share in earning them! But there is a future recompense of reward, to which the upright man looks, and which he will most assuredly obtain, provided he perseveres unto the end.
 

I am more and more convinced that man is a dangerous creature; and that power, whether vested in many or a few, is ever grasping, and, like the grave, cries, "Give, give!" The great fish swallow up the small; and he who is most strenuous for the rights of the people, when vested with power, is as eager after the prerogatives of government. You tell me of degrees of perfection to which human nature is capable of arriving, and I believe it, but at the same time lament that our admiration should arise from the scarcity of the instances.
 

I begin to think, that a calm is not desirable in any situation in life. Every object is beautiful in motion; a ship under sail, trees gently agitated with the wind, and a fine woman dancing, are three instances in point. Man was made for action and for bustle too, I believe.
[Action]
 

I feel anxious for the fate of our monarchy, or democracy, or whatever is to take place. I soon get lost in a labyrinth of perplexities; but, whatever occurs, may justice and righteousness be the stability of our times, and order arise out of confusion. Great difficulties may be surmounted by patience and perseverance.
 

I regret the narrow contracted education of the females of my own country.
 

I wish most sincerely there was not a slave in this province. It always appeared a most iniquitous scheme to me-to fight ourselves for what we are daily robbing and plundering from those who have as good a right to freedom as we have.
 

I've always felt that a person's intelligence is directly reflected by the number of conflicting points of view he can entertain simultaneously on the same topic.
 

If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice, or representation.
 

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

If we mean to have heroes, statesmen and philosophers, we should have learned women.
 

If you complain of neglect of Education in sons, what shall I say with regard to daughters, who every day experience the want of it?
 

In the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.
See quote detail

It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. ... Great necessities call out great virtues.
[Adversity]
 

It is really mortifying, sir, when a woman possessed of a common share of understanding considers the difference of education between the male and female sex, even in those families where education is attended to...Nay why should your sex wish for such a disparity in those whom they one day intend for companions and associates. Pardon me, sir, if I cannot help sometimes suspecting that this neglect arises in some measure from an ungenerous jealousy of rivals near the throne.
See quote detail

Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.
[Learning]
 

Luxury, that baneful poison, has unstrung and enfeebled her sons.
 


Pages: 12Next