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John Adams Quotes


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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.
[America]
 

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.
 

I must not write a word to you about politics, because you are a woman.
 

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, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
[Parenthood]
 

If I had refused to institute a negotiation or had not persevered in it, I would have been degraded in my own estimation as a man of honor.
 

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

In esse I am nothing; in posse I am everything.
 

In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.
 

In politics the middle way is none at all.
[Politics]
 

Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.
 

Liberty can not be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.
[Liberty]
 

Liberty, according to my metaphysics is a self-determining power in an intellectual agent. It implies thought and choice and power.
 

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

No man who ever held the office of president would congratulate a friend on obtaining it.
 

Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.
[Mind]
 

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
 

Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives.
 

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

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

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


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