Samuel Adams

Samuel
Adams
1722
1803

American Statesman, Political Philosopher, Pamphleteer, Member of the Continental Congress, One of the Founding Fathers of the United States

Author Quotes

We, therefore, the Congress of the United States of America, do solemnly declare and proclaim that... We appeal to the God who searcheth the hearts of men for the rectitude of our intentions; and in His holy presence declare that, as we are not moved by any light or hasty suggestions of anger or revenge, so through every possible change of fortune we will adhere to this our determination.

What has commonly been called rebellion has more often been nothing but a manly and glorious struggle in opposition to the lawless power of rebellious kings and princes.

Whatever laws therefore are made in a society, tending to render property insecure, must be subversive of the end for which men prefer society to the state of nature...

When an act injurious to freedom has once been done, and the people bear it, the repetition of it is more likely to meet with submission.

When I heard, that you had turned your mind to a defence of infidelity, I felt myself much astonished, and more grieved, that you had attempted a measure so injurious to the feelings, and so repugnant to the true interest of so great a part of the citizens of the United States. The people of New-England, if you will allow me to use a Scripture phrase, are fast returning to their first love. Will you excite among them the spirit of angry controversy, at a time, when they are hastening to unity and peace? I am told that some of our news-papers have announced your intention to publish an additional pamphlet upon the principles of your Age of Reason. Do you think, that your pen, or the pen of any other man can unchristianize the mass of our citizens, or have you hopes of converting a few of them to assist you in so bad a cause?

When men enter into society, it is by voluntary consent; and they have a right to demand and insist upon the performance of such conditions and previous limitations as form an equitable original compact.

When the married Couple strictly observe the great Rules of Honor & Justice towards each other, Differences, if any happen, between them, must proceed from small & trifling Circumstances.

When vain aspiring men possess highest seats in government, country will need experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.

Where did you learn that in a state or society you had a right to do as you please? And that it was an infringement of that right to restrain you? This is a refinement which I dare say, the true sons of liberty despise.

You have now in the field armies sufficient to repel the whole force of your enemies and their base and mercenary auxiliaries. The hearts of your soldiers beat high with the spirit of freedom; they are animated with the justice of their cause, and while they grasp their swords can look up to Heaven for assistance. Your adversaries are composed of wretches who laugh at the rights of humanity, who turn religion into derision, and would, for higher wages, direct their swords against their leaders or their country. Go on, then, in your generous enterprise, with gratitude to Heaven for past, success, and confidence of it in the future. For my own part, I ask no greater blessing than to share with you the common danger and common glory. If I have a wish dearer to my soul than that my ashes may be mingled with those of a Warren and a Montgomery, it is that these American States may never cease to be free and independent.

We may look up to Armies for Defence, but Virtue is our best Security. It is not possible that any state should long remain free, where Virtue is not supremely honored.

We owe our grateful Acknowledgments to him who is, as he is frequently stiled in sacred Writ The Lord of Hosts The God of Armies...

We seem, Messrs. Printers, to be drawing very near the time, when some people will be hardy enough to dispute, whether we are to be governed according to the rule of the Constitution, the building of which has been the Work of Ages, or to use the words of the House, by the breath of a Minister of State.

We trust in God, & in the Smiles of Heaven on the Justice of our Cause, that a Day is hastening, when the Efforts of the Colonists will be crowned with Success; and the present Generation furnish an Example of publick Virtue, worthy the Imitation of all Posterity.

We are perswaded that the Town whom we have the Honor to serve...have nothing in view but to assist in endeavoring to preserve our happy civil Constitution free from Innovation & maintain it inviolate...

We cannot think the doctrine of the right of Parliament to tax us is given up, while an act remains in force for that purpose... and the longer it remains the more danger there is of the people's becoming so accustomed to arbitrary and unconstitutional taxes, as to pay them without discontent; and then, as you justly observe, no Minister will ever think of taking them off, but will rather be encouraged to add others.

We have no other alternative than independence.

We have no other alternative than independence, or the most ignominious and galling servitude. The legions of our enemies thicken on our plains; desolation and death mark their bloody career; whilst the mangled corpses of our countrymen seem to cry out to us as a voice from Heaven.

The Utopian schemes of re-distribution of the wealth...are as visionary and impractical as those which vest all property in the Crown.

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.

There is One above us who will take exemplary vengeance for every insult upon His majesty. You know that the cause of America is just. You know that she contends for that freedom to which all men are entitled - that she contends against oppression, rapine, and more than savage barbarity. The blood of the innocent is upon your hands, and all the waters of the ocean will not wash it away. We again make our solemn appeal to the God of heaven to decide between you and us. And we pray that, in the doubtful scale of battle, we may be successful as we have justice on our side, and that the merciful Savior of the world may forgive our oppressors.

There never was a democracy that did not commit suicide.

These are some of the first principles of natural law and justice, and the great barriers of all free states and of the British Constitution in particular. It is utterly irreconcilable to these principles and to many other fundamental maxims of the common law, common sense, and reason that a British House of Commons should have a right at pleasure to give and grant the property of the Colonists. (That the Colonists are well entitled to all the essential rights, liberties, and privileges of men and freemen born in Britain is manifest not only from the Colony charters in general, but acts of the British Parliament.) The statute of the 13th of Geo. 2, C. 7, naturalizes even foreigners after seven years' residence. The words of the Massachusetts charter are these: "And further, our will and pleasure is, and we do hereby for us, our heirs, and successors, grant, establish, and ordain, that all and every of the subjects of us, our heirs, and successors, which shall go to, and inhabit within our said Province or Territory, and every of their children, which shall happen to be born there or on the seas in going thither or returning from thence, shall have and enjoy all liberties and immunities of free and natural subjects within any of the dominions of us, our heirs, and successors, to all intents, constructions, and purposes whatsoever as if they and every one of them were born within this our realm of England."

They [the legislature] ought to consider the fundamental [constitutional] laws as sacred, if the nation has not in very express terms, given them the power to change them.

They were certainly misrepresented in the most shameful Manner, when, in order to enslave them it was suggested that they were too ignorant to enjoy Liberty.

Author Picture
First Name
Samuel
Last Name
Adams
Birth Date
1722
Death Date
1803
Bio

American Statesman, Political Philosopher, Pamphleteer, Member of the Continental Congress, One of the Founding Fathers of the United States