February 26, 2006 John Adams quotes
David McCullough quotes from Adams's personal diary and papers extensively and there are many of his words that have really struck me. I want to have them all in one place for future reference.
Now to what higher object, to what greater character, can any mortal aspire than to be possessed of all this knowledge, well digested and ready at command, to assist the feeble and friendless, to discountenance the haughty and lawless, to procure redress to wrongs, the advancement of right, to assert and maintain liberty and virtue, to discourage and abolish tyranny and vice? (p. 53)
Government is a plain, simple, intelligent thing, founded in nature and reason, quite comprehensible by common sense...Let us dare to read, think, speak and write...Let us recollect it was liberty, the hope of liberty, for themselves [first settlers] and us and ours, which conquered all discouragements, dangers and trials. (p. 60-61)
When I consider the great events which are passed, and those greater which are rapidly advancing, and that I may have been instrumental of touching some springs, and turning some wheels, which have had and will have such effects, I feel an awe upon my mind which is not easily described. (p. 110)
The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more. (p. 130)
Our N[ew] England people are awkward and bashful; yet they are pert, ostentatious and vain, a mixture which excites ridicule and disgust. They have not the faculty of showing themselves to best advantage, nor the act of concealment of this faculty. An art and faculty which some people possess in the highest degree. Our deficiencies in these respects are owing wholly to the little intercouse we have had with strangers, and to our inexperience in the world. These imperfections must be remedied, for New England must produce heroes, the statesmen, the philosophers, or America will be no great figure for some time. (p. 149)
I'll continue to add to this list as I continue to read the book.
Labels: president, quotations
posted by Jenn at 1:47 PM