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

I firmly believe that the benevolent Creator designed the republican Form of Government for Man.

Let us contemplate our forefathers, and posterity, and resolve to maintain the rights bequeathed to us from the former, for the sake of the latter. The necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude and perseverance. Let us remember that if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom, it is a very serious consideration ... that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers of the event.

The country shall be independent, and we will be satisfied with nothing short of it.

If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.

Liberty will not long survive the total extinction of morals.

The eyes of the people are upon us. [...] If we despond, public confidence is destroyed, the people will no longer yield their support to a hopeless contest, and American liberty is no more. [...] Despondency becomes not the dignity of our cause, nor the character of those who are its supporters. Let us awaken then, and evince a different spirit, - a spirit that shall inspire the people with confidence in themselves and in us, - a spirit that will encourage them to persevere in this glorious struggle, until their rights and liberties shall be established on a rock. We have proclaimed to the world our determination 'to die freemen, rather than to live slaves.' We have appealed to Heaven for the justice of our cause, and in Heaven we have placed our trust. [...] We shall never be abandoned by Heaven while we act worthy of its aid and protection.

If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.

Mankind are governed more by their feelings than by reason.

The liberties of our Country, the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending at all hazards: And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have receiv'd them as a fair Inheritance from our worthy Ancestors: They purchas'd them for us with toil and danger and expence of treasure and blood; and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle; or be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men. Of the latter we are in most danger at present: Let us therefore be aware of it. Let us contemplate our forefathers and posterity; and resolve to maintain the rights bequeath'd to us from the former, for the sake of the latter. - Instead of sitting down satisfied with the efforts we have already made, which is the wish of our enemies, the necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude, and perseverance. Let us remember that if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom. It is a very serious consideration, which should deeply impress our minds, that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers of the event.

If the public are bound to yield obedience to laws to which they cannot give their approbation, they are slaves to those who make such laws and enforce them.

Man's rights are evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature.

The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on Earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but only to have the law of nature for his rule.

If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.

Men who content themselves with the semblance of truth, and a display of words, talk much of our obligations to Great Britain for protection. Had she a single eye to our advantage? A nation of shopkeepers are very seldom so disinterested.

The Opinion of others I very little regard, & have a thorough Contempt for all men, be their Names Characters & Stations what they may, who appear to be the irreclaimable Enemies of Religion & Liberty.

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.

Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.

The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men.

In monarchy the crime of treason may admit of being pardoned or lightly punished, but the man who dares rebel against the laws of a republic ought to suffer death.

No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and Virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.

The right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave... These may be best understood by reading and carefully studying the institutes of the great Law Giver and Head of the Christian Church, which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament.

In regard to religion, mutual toleration in the different professions thereof is what all good and candid minds in all ages have ever practiced, and, both by precept and example, inculcated on mankind.

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 character of public men.

The said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the 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.

Courage, then, is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious 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