Samuel Adams


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

Author Quotes

That the said constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience or to prevent the people of the united states, who are peaceable Citizens, from keeping their own arms.

The absolute rights of Englishmen and all freemen, in or out of civil society, are principally personal security, personal liberty, and private property.

The diminution of publick Virtue is usually attended with that of publick Happiness, and the publick Liberty will not long survive the total Extinction of Morals.

The fear of the Peoples abusing their Liberty is made an Argument against their having the Enjoyment of it; as if anything were so much to be dreaded by Mankind as Slavery.

Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy that did not commit suicide.

Of how much importance is it, that the utmost pains be taken by the public to have the principles of virtue early inculcated on the minds even of children, and the moral sense kept alive.

One would from this & other like Instances conclude, that to be possessed of the Christian Principles, & to accommodate our whole Deportment to such Principles, is to be happy in this Life, it is this that sweetens every thing we enjoy; indeed of it self it yields us full Satisfaction, & thus puts it out of the power of the World to disappoint us by any of its frowns.

Or is he at length become wise enough to attend to a good old Maxim, IN PEACE PREPARE FOR WAR.

Our unalterable resolution would be to be free. They have attempted to subdue us by force, but God be praised! in vain. Their arts may be more dangerous then their arms. Let us then renounce all treaty with them upon any score but that of total separation, and under God trust our cause to our swords.

Perhaps there never was a people who discovered themselves more strongly attached to their natural and constitutional rights and liberties, than the British Colonists on this American Continent.

Principally and first of all, I recommend my soul to that Almighty Being who gave it and my body I commit to the dust, relying upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins.

Principiis obstra [resist the first advances] is a maxim worth regarding in politics as well as morals, and it is more especially to be observed, when those who are the most assiduous in their endeavours to alter the civil Constitution, are not less so in persuading us to go to sleep and dream that we are in a state of perfect security.

Private and public vices are in reality?connected?Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust be men of unexceptionable characters. The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men.

Rebellion against a king may be pardoned, or lightly punished, but the man who dares to rebel against the laws of a republic ought to suffer death.

Recommend my Soul to that Almighty Being who gave it, and my body I commit to the dust, relying upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins

Religion has been & I hope will continue to be the ornament of N. England. While they place their Confidence in God they will not fail to be an happy People.

Religion in a Family is at once its brightest Ornament & its best Security.

Nil desperandum, -- Never Despair. That is a motto for you and me. All are not dead; and where there is a spark of patriotic fire, we will rekindle it.

No Character appears with a stronger Luster in my Mind, than that of a Man, who nobly perseveres in the Cause of publick Liberty, and Virtue...

Now what liberty can there be where property is taken away without consent? Can it be said with any color of truth and justice, that this continent of three thousand miles in length, and of a breadth as yet unexplored, in which, however, it is supposed there are five millions of people, has the least voice, vote, or influence in the British Parliament? Have they all together any more weight or power to return a single member to that House of Commons who have not inadvertently, but deliberately, assumed a power to dispose of their lives, liberties, and properties, than to choose an Emperor of China? Had the Colonists a right to return members to the British Parliament, it would only be hurtful; as, from their local situation and circumstances, it is impossible they should ever be truly and properly represented there. The inhabitants of this country, in all probability, in a few years, will be more numerous than those of Great Britain and Ireland together; yet it is absurdly expected by the promoters of the present measures that these, with their posterity to all generations, should be easy, while their property shall be disposed of by a House of Commons at three thousand miles' distance from them, and who cannot be supposed to have the least care or concern for their real interest; who have not only no natural care for their interest, but must be in effect bribed against it, as every burden they lay on the Colonists is so much saved or gained to themselves. Hitherto, many of the Colonists have been free from quit rents; but if the breath of a British House of Commons can originate an act for taking away all our money, our lands will go next, or be subject to rack rents from haughty and relentless landlords, who will ride at ease, while we are trodden in the dirt. The Colonists have been branded with the odious names of traitors and rebels only for complaining of their grievances. How long such treatment will or ought to be borne, is submitted.

May God give us Wisdom Fortitude Perseverance and every other virtue necessary for us to maintain that Independence which we have asserted.

May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!

My daily Prayer is for your Safety, & Happiness in this Life & a better. Adieu, my dear.

Nation of shopkeepers.

Ne'er yet by force was freedom overcome.

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