Monday, April 19, 2010

Quotes from John Adams for Copywork

As we are studying American History this year with my oldest, her copywork is taken from our founding fathers. Here are some quotes from one of our under appreciated founding fathers, John Adams~

  • Honesty, sincerity and openness I esteem essential marks of a good mind. ~March 7, 1756
  • The enormous Engine, fabricated by the British Parliament, for battering down all the Rights and Liberties of America, I mean the Stamp Act, has raised and spread thro the whole Continent, a Spirit that will be recorded to our Honour, with all future Generations. ~December 18, 1765
  • We live my dear Soul in an Age of Tryal. What will be the Consequence I know not. ~ May 12, 1774
  • It gives me more Pleasure than I can express to learn that you sustain with so much Fortitude, the Shocks and Terrors of the Times. You are really very brave, my dear, you are an Heroine. ~July 7, 1775 in a letter from John to his wife Abigail
  • I agree with you that in politics the middle way is none at all. ~ March 23, 1776 Letter to Horatio Gates
  • There is something very unnatural and odious in a government a thousand leagues off. A whole government of our own choice, managed by persons whom we love, revere, and can confide in, has charms in it for which men will fight. ~ May 17, 1776 in letter to Abigail Adams
  • Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People in a greater Measure than they have it now, They may change their Rulers and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty. They will only exchange Tyrants and Tyrannies. ~ June 21, 1776 in letter to Abigail Adams
  • Yesterday the greatest question was decided which ever was debated in America; and a greater perhaps never was, nor will be, decided among men. A resolution was passed without one dissenting colony, "that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States." ~ July 2, 1776 in letter to Abigail Adams
  • I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States - Yet through all the Gloom I can see Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will triumph . . . ~July 3, 1776
  • Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make good Use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it. ~ April 26, 1777
  • All the perplexities, confusions, and distresses in America arise, not from defects in their constitution or confederation, not from a want of honor or virtue, so much as from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation. ~ August 23, 1787 in a letter to Thomas Jefferson
  • My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived; and as I can do neither good nor evil, I must be borne away by others and meet the common fate. ~ December 19, 1793 On the Vice-Presidency of the United States, in a letter to Abigail Adams
  • I read my eyes out and can't read half enough. ... The more one reads the more one sees we have to read. ~December 28 1794 in a letter to Abigail Adams
  • I read it [the Constitution] with great satisfaction, as the result of good heads prompted by good hearts. . . . ~March 4, 1797
  • A solemn scene it was indeed, and it was made more affecting to me by the presence of the General, whose countenance was as serene and unclouded as the day. Methought I heard him say, "Ay! I am fairly out and you fairly in! See which of us will be happiest. ~March 5, 1797 in reference to George Washington stepping aside and John Adams becoming president of the United States
  • Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other. ~October 11, 1798 Letter to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts
  • I pray Heaven to bestow the best of Blessings on this House and All that shall hereafter inhabit. May none but honest and wise Men ever rule under this Roof. ~November 2, 1800 in reference to the recently built White House
  • Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives. ~April 18, 1808 Letter to Benjamin Rush
  • I look back with rapture to those golden days when Virginia and Massachusetts lived and acted together like a band of brothers. ~February 25, 1825
Here are some quotes from His and Our first lady, Abigail Adams ~

  • In the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies . . . . ~March 31, 1776 in a letter to her husband John
  • God Save our American States and 3 cheers which rended the air, the Bells rang, the privateers fired, . . . and every face appeared joyfull . . . the king's [coat of] arms were taken down from the State House . . . and all the people shall say Amen. ~July 21, 1776 in a letter to her husband John
  • Our August President . . . has a dignity which forbids Familiarity mixed with an easy affability which creates Love and Reverence. ~July 12, 1789 in reference to George Washington

Some quotes were found in a wonderful picture book, The Revolutionary John Adams by Cheryl Harness. The other quotes, as well as some additional ones, can be found here.

With the old language in the quotes, it would be good to point out how languages change over time as well as spellings.

No comments:

Post a Comment