Leaders / Innovators

36 Most Famous John Adams Quotes (LIBERTY)

36 of the Best John Adams Quotes on Democracy, Freedom and Education to Inspire You

“It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished. But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, ‘whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection,’ and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.”

John Adams
If conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value.
If conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value.
Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.
Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.
In politics the middle way is none at all.
In politics the middle way is none at all.
Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.
Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.

“Public business, my son, must always be done by somebody. It will be done by somebody or other. If wise men decline it, others will not; if honest men refuse it, others will not.”

John Adams
A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.
A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.
Let frugality and industry be our virtues. Fire (our children) with ambition to be useful.
Let frugality and industry be our virtues. Fire (our children) with ambition to be useful.
Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.
Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.
Go on and improve in everything worthy.
Go on and improve in everything worthy.
Always stand on principle even if you stand alone.
Always stand on principle even if you stand alone.

“I fear that in every elected office, members will obtain an influence by noise not sense. By meanness, not greatness. By ignorance, not learning. By contracted hearts, not large souls… There must be decency and respect.”

John Adams
I read my eyes out and can’t read half enough neither. The more one reads the more one sees we have to read.
I read my eyes out and can’t read half enough neither. The more one reads the more one sees we have to read.
Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it.
Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it.
Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.
Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
Friendship is one of the distinguishing glorys of man... From this I expect to receive the chief happiness of my future life.
Friendship is one of the distinguishing glorys of man… From this I expect to receive the chief happiness of my future life.

“I will rouse up my mind and fix my attention. I will stand collected within myself and think upon what I read and what I see. I will strive with all my soul to be something more than persons who have had less advantages than myself.”

John Adams
Fear is the foundation of most governments.
Fear is the foundation of most governments.
The true source of our suffering has been our timidity. We have been afraid to think...
The true source of our suffering has been our timidity. We have been afraid to think…
Defeat appears to me preferable to total inaction.
Defeat appears to me preferable to total inaction.
Human passions unbridled by morality and religion... would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net.
Human passions unbridled by morality and religion… would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net.
Liberty, according to my metaphysics is a self-determining power in an intellectual agent. It implies thought and choice and power.
Liberty, according to my metaphysics is a self-determining power in an intellectual agent. It implies thought and choice and power.
Property is surely a right of mankind as real as liberty.
Property is surely a right of mankind as real as liberty.
The essence of a free government consists in an effectual control of rivalries.
The essence of a free government consists in an effectual control of rivalries.
To believe all men honest is folly. To believe none is something worse.
To believe all men honest is folly. To believe none is something worse.
Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society.
Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society.
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
No man is entirely free from weakness and imperfection in this life.
No man is entirely free from weakness and imperfection in this life.
One useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three is a Congress.
One useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three is a Congress.
Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.
Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.
You will never be alone with a poet in your pocket.
You will never be alone with a poet in your pocket.
Thanks to God that he gave me stubbornness when I know I am right.
Thanks to God that he gave me stubbornness when I know I am right.
To be good, and to do good, is all we have to do.
To be good, and to do good, is all we have to do.

John Adams Short Biography

Born 30 October 1735, in Braintree, Massachusetts, United States, John Adams was an American founding father and the second president of the United States.

Adams graduated in 1755 with an A.B. degree from Harvard University. He furthered his studies by taking up law and became a member of the bar in 1758.

In 1774 Adams was elected into the Massachusetts delegation and joined the First Continental Congress. During his time in Congress, he rejected the probability of reuniting with the British.

The Second Continental Congress took place in 1775, and Adams had been in attendance. It was here that Adams selected Thomas Jefferson to draft the Declaration of Independence.

On September 3, 1783, Adams was re-appointed as the American commissioner in charge of negotiating the Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolutionary War.

Six years later Adams ran for office but lost the presidency to George Washington, making Adams vice president. As vice president one of his main responsibilities was to oversee Senate functions, he also supported many of Washington’s initiatives.

In 1796 John Adams ran for president. He won against Thomas Jefferson by a small margin and was inaugurated on March 4, 1797. During his term Adams successfully brought an end to the Quasi-War with France, which was considered one of his most notable accomplishments as president.

Further Reading:

Here are the best John Adams quotes so you can build confidence to be a well-rounded and courageous leader especially in distressing times. 

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