John Adams Quotes

The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations.... This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.
John Adams (1735-1826), U.S. statesman, president. letter, Feb. 13, 1818.
(37) (12)
Here is everything which can lay hold of the eye, ear and imagination—everything which can charm and bewitch the simple and ignorant. I wonder how Luther ever broke the spell.
John Adams (1735-1826), U.S. statesman, president. letter, Oct. 9, 1774, to his wife, Abigail Adams.
(40) (25)
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.
John Adams (1735-1826), U.S. statesman, president. Notes for A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law (1765).
(34) (24)
A government of laws, and not of men.
John Adams (1735-1826), U.S. statesman, president. The Works of John Adams, vol. 4, ed. Charles Francis Adams (1851). Novanglus Papers, Boston Gazette, no. 7 (1774). This phrase, taken from one of the articles published in the Boston Gazette, was attributed by Adams to English political theorist and republican, James Harrington (1611- 1677), whose actual words were, "the empire of laws and not of men" (Oceana, 1656). The words were incorporated by Adams into the Massachusetts Constitution (1780).
(34) (26)
You and I ought not to die before we have explained ourselves to each other.
John Adams (1735-1826), U.S. statesman, president. Letter, July 15, 1813, to Thomas Jefferson. The Adams-Jefferson Letters, vol. 2, ed. L.J. Cappon (1959).
(9) (15)
The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epoch 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 shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more
John Adams (1735-1826), U.S. statesman, president. Letter, July 3, 1776, to his wife Abigail Adams. The Adams Family Correspondence, vol. 2, ed. L.H. Butterfield (1963).
(2) (4)
The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epoch 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 shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more
John Adams (1735-1826), U.S. statesman, president. Letter, July 3, 1776, to his wife Abigail Adams. The Adams Family Correspondence, vol. 2, ed. L.H. Butterfield (1963).
(4) (2)
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.
John Adams (1735-1826), U.S. statesman, president. Letter, May 1780, to his wife Abigail Adams. The Adams Family Correspondence, vol. 3, ed. L.H. Butterfield (1973).
(9) (14)
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), U.S. statesman, president. Letter, April 15, 1814. The Works of John Adams, vol. 6, ed. Charles Francis Adams (1851).
(3) (4)