John Adams

(New York, New York)

John Adams Quotes

  • ''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.
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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.''
    John Adams (1735-1826), U.S. statesman, president. Notes for A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law (1765).
  • ''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).
  • ''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).
  • ''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).
  • ''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).
  • ''The happiness of society is the end of government.''
    John Adams (1735-1826), U.S. statesman, president. Thoughts on Government (1776). The purpose of government to secure, among other rights, the pursuit of happiness, is one of the "self-evident truths" enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. See Jefferson on independence.

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Best Poem of John Adams

Grand Canyon Lands

I'm in a wild neglected niche,
Mojave joins the sublime ditch.
Out from Lake Meade where deserts burn
As heat surrounds a cooking urn.

These fiery winds may take their toll
Infernos' depths; devil's punch bowl.
Bright ochre sands like burnished chrome
Reflects the sun, earth's nascent home.

Grand Canyon's wild. So am I.
Wild donkeys thrive with coyotes nigh.
Cactus water, at least, is clean
When hunger gnaws, there's mesquite beans.

Let coyotes howl. Old owls can hoot
Snakes can't pierce my heavy boots.
I had to come. There...

Read the full of Grand Canyon Lands

Grand Canyon Lands

I'm in a wild neglected niche,
Mojave joins the sublime ditch.
Out from Lake Meade where deserts burn
As heat surrounds a cooking urn.

These fiery winds may take their toll
Infernos' depths; devil's punch bowl.
Bright ochre sands like burnished chrome
Reflects the sun, earth's nascent home.

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