Founders' Quote Database

Samuel Adams

to John Hancock at the Battle of Lexington, Massachusetts — 1775
Category: War for Independence
What a glorious morning this is!

Samuel Adams

letter to James Warren — 1776
Category: War for Independence
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.

Samuel Adams

essay in The Public Advertiser — 1749
Category: Character
[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.

Samuel Adams

letter to James Warren — 1775
Category: Character
The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men.

Samuel Adams

letter to James Warren — 1775
Category: Education
No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffusd and Virtue is preservd. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauchd in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.

Samuel Adams

letter to Thomas Wells — 1780
Category: Family
Religion in a Family is at once its brightest Ornament & its best Security.

Samuel Adams

letter to Thomas wells — 1780
Category: Family
[T]he importance of piety and religion; of industry and frugality; of prudence, economy, regularity and an even government; all ... are essential to the well-being of a family.

Samuel Adams

letter to the Legislature of Massachusetts — 1794
Category: Laws of Nature
In the supposed state of nature, all men are equally bound by the laws of nature, or to speak more properly, the laws of the Creator.

Samuel Adams

in the Boston Gazette — 1781
Category: Citizenship
Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual - or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.

Samuel Adams

letter to Elbridge Gerry — 1780
Category: Political Leaders
If men of wisdom and knowledge, of moderation and temperance, of patience, fortitude and perseverance, of sobriety and true republican simplicity of manners, of zeal for the honour of the Supreme Being and the welfare of the commonwealth; if men possessed of these other excellent qualities are chosen to fill the seats of government, we may expect that our affairs will rest on a solid and permanent foundation.

Samuel Adams

letter to John Trumbull — 1778
Category: Religion and Morality
Religion and good morals are the only solid foundation of public liberty and happiness.

Samuel Adams

letter to James Warren — 1779
Category: Virtue
A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.

Samuel Adams

letter to James Warren — 1779
Category: Virtue
If Virtue & Knowledge are diffused among the People, they will never be enslav'd. This will be their great Security.

Samuel Adams

letter to James Warren — 1775
Category: Virtue
Since private and publick Vices, are in Reality, though not always apparently, so nearly connected, of how much Importance, how necessary is it, that the utmost Pains be taken by the Publick, to have the Principles of Virtue early inculcated on the Minds even of children, and the moral Sense kept alive, and that the wise institutions of our Ancestors for these great Purposes be encouraged by the Government. For no people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffusd and Virtue is preservd. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauchd in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.

Samuel Adams

letter to James Warren — 1775
Category: Character
Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust must be men of unexceptionable characters.

Samuel Adams

Rights of the Colonists — 1772
Category: Rights
If men through fear, fraud or mistake, should in terms renounce and give up any essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and the great 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.

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