In this c.â€‰1772 portrait by John Singleton Copley, Adams points at the Massachusetts Charter, which he viewed as a constitution that protected the peoples’ rights.
|4th Governor of Massachusetts|
October 8, 1794 â€“ June 2, 1797
|Preceded by||John Hancock|
|Succeeded by||Increase Sumner|
|3rd Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts|
1789 â€“ 1794
October 8, 1793 â€“ 1794
|Preceded by||Benjamin Lincoln|
|Succeeded by||Moses Gill|
|President of the Massachusetts Senate|
|Delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress|
|Clerk of the Massachusetts House of Representatives|
|Born||September 27 [O.S. September 16] 1722
Boston, Massachusetts Bay
|Died||October 2, 1803
Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Resting place||Granary Burying Ground, Boston|
|Political party||Democratic-Republican (1790s)|
It behooves every American to encourage home manufactures, that our oppressors may feel through their pockets the effects of their blind folly.
Our contest 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.
Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, and thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can.
While I am in this world, I am resolved that no vexation shall put me out of temper if I can possibly command myself. Even old age, which is making strides towards me, shall not prevail to make me peevish.
It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.
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. Through the darkness which shrouds our prospects, the ark of safety is visible. Despondency becomes not the dignity of our cause, nor the character of those who are its supporters.
He who is void of virtuous attachments in private life is, or very soon will be, void of all regard for his country. There is seldom an instance of a man guilty of betraying his country, who had not before lost the feeling of moral obligations in his private connections.
It is not infrequent to hear men declaim loudly upon liberty, who, if we may judge by the whole tenor of their actions, mean nothing else by it but their own liberty – to oppress without control, or the restraint of laws, all who are poorer and weaker than themselves.
The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution, are worth defending against all hazards: And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.
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.
For my own part, I have been wont to converse with poverty; and however disagreeable a companion she may be thought to be by the affluent and luxurious, who were never acquainted with her, I can live happily with her the remainder of my life if I can thereby contribute to the redemption of my country.
There is a solid satisfaction in one's having and being conscious that he merits the good opinion of men of true discernment and real worth. But to have a name among the weak and the wicked is shame and reproach.
If taxes are laid upon us in any shape without our having a legal representation where they are laid, are we not reduced from the character of free subjects to the miserable state of tributary slaves? We claim British rights not by charter only! We are born to them.
The love of power, like the love of money, increases with the possession of it; and we know in what ruin these baneful passions have involved human societies in all ages when they have been let loose and suffered to rage uncontrolled – There is no restraint like the pervading eye of the virtuous citizens.
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.
It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.
Power is, in its nature, encroaching; and such is the human make that men who are vested with a share of it are generally inclined to take more than it was intended they should have.
Numerous have been the manifestations of God's providence in sustaining us. In the gloomy period of adversity, we have had 'our cloud by day and pillar of fire by night.' We have been reduced to distress, and the arm of Omnipotence has raised us up.
The Constitution shall never be construed… to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.
'But,' say the puling, pusillanimous cowards, 'we shall be subject to a long and bloody war if we declare independence.' On the contrary, I affirm it the only step that can bring the contest to a speedy and happy issue.
I do not regret the part I have taken in a cause so just and interesting to mankind.
How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!
The marriage state was designed to complete the sum of human happiness in this life. It sometimes proves otherwise, but this is owing to the parties themselves, who either rush into it without due consideration or fail in point of discretion in their conduct towards each other afterwards.