John Adams Quotes

Most popular John Adams Quotes

Genius is sorrow's child.
— John Adams

genius

A government of laws, and not of men.
— John Adams
The happiness of society is the end of government.

happiness

People and nations are forged in the fires of adversity.
— John Adams

adversity

Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.
— John Adams

knowledge

You will never be alone with a poet in your pocket. You will never have an idle hour.
— John Adams

poetry poets

Grief drives men into habits of serious reflection, sharpens the understanding and softens the heart.
— John Adams

sorrow

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

knowledge

Ambition is the subtlest beast of the intellectual and moral field.  It is wonderfully adroit in concealing itself from its owner.
— John Adams

ambition

My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.
— John Adams

vice-presidency

The jaws of power are always opened to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.

power

All sober inquirers after truth, ancient and modern, pagan and Christian, have declared that the happiness of man, as well as his dignity, consists in virtue.

happiness virtue dignity

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

facts

Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak, and that it is doing God's service, when it is violating all His laws.
— John Adams

power

Some great events, some cutting expressions, some mean hypocrisies have, at times, thrown this assemblage of sloth, sleep, and littleness into rage a little like a lion.
— John Adams

rage

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?

religion

I am not well; I inhabit a weak, frail, decayed tenement, battered by the winds and broken in upon by the storms; and, from all I can learn, the landlord does not intend to repair.
— John Adams

old age

A desire to be observed, considered, esteemed, praised, beloved, and admired by his fellows is one of the earliest as well as the keenest dispositions discovered in the heart of man.

vanity

The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.
— John Adams

property rights

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.
— John Adams

freedom of speech

When we say God is a spirit, we know what we mean, as well as we do when we say that the pyramids of Egypt are matter. Let us be content, therefore, to believe him to be a spirit, that is, an essence that we know nothing of, in which originally and necessarily reside all energy, all power, all capacity, all activity, all wisdom, all goodness.
— John Adams

God