This week we honor the life of John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826 at age 90) second president of the United States and vice president under George Washington the first president. He was a Christian, political leader, philosopher, author, lawyer, farmer, husband to Abigail, and father of six.
President Adams played a crucial role as a Founding Father serving in the first and second Continental Congress and the Committee of Five along with Thomas Jefferson who later became his vice president. The committee was responsible for drafting the Declaration of Independence. His views on a bicameralism and separation of powers were highly influential in the formation of the federal government and many state governments. He was the first president who was not a slave owner.
Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
Thanks to God that he gave me stubbornness when I know I am right.
Virtue is not always amiable.
Human nature with all its infirmities and depravation is still capable of great things.
Education makes a greater difference between man and man, than nature has made between man and brute.
Let them revere nothing but religion, morality and liberty.
I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration [ of Independence ], and support and defend these states. Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory.
The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.
The right of a nation to kill a tyrant, in cases of necessity, can no more be doubted, than to hang a robber, or kill a flea. But killing one tyrant only makes way for worse, unless the people have sense, spirit and honesty enough to establish and support a constitution guarded at all points against the tyranny of the one, the few, and the many.
Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives.
Statesmen, my dear sir, may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is religion and morality alone, which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand.
Posterity! you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.
There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great [ political ] parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.
I agree with you that in politics the middle way is none at all.
There is something very unnatural and odious in a government a thousand leagues off.
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 six—the swiftest horses must be slackened and the slowest quickened, that all may keep an even pace.
A constitution of government once changed from freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.
There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.
Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society.
The consequences arising from the continual accumulation of public debts in other countries ought to admonish us to be careful to prevent their growth in our own.
Without religion this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company, I mean Hell.
You will never be alone with a poet in your pocket.
You [ Abigail ] bid me burn your letters. But I must forget you first.
Quotes from WikiQuote. When applicable, spelling and punctuation have been revised to current standards.