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John Adams

John Adams Quotes

Quotes by and about John Adams

(Continued from his main entry on the site.)

Adams: "I would not advise any one to study [philosophy] longer than to convince him that he may devote his time to more satisfactory and more useful pursuits."

David McCullough: "[He was] emphatically independent by nature."

Colonel William Smith: "He possesses a high sense of honor and as independent a spirit as any man I ever knew."

Abigail Adams [in a personal letter to Adams:] "I acknowledge that you very seldom deal in flattery."

Thomas Jefferson [in a personal letter to James Madison:] "[He has] a degree of vanity and [a] blindness to it. ... [I have had many] opportunities of studying him closely. He is vain, irritable and a bad calculator of the force and probable effect of the motives which govern men. This is all the ill which can be said of him. He is as disinterested as the Being which made him: he is profound in his views, and accurate in his judgment except where knowledge of the world is necessary to form a judgment. He is so amiable that I pronounce you will love him if ever you become acquainted with him."

Hibbing, Smith & Alford: "President Adams signed into law the Alien and Sedition Acts, making it a crime to say nasty things about the government - a good deal if you are the head of that government."

James Callender: "[John Adams is] a repulsive pedant, a gross hypocrite and unprincipled oppressor."

New York Times: "At once ambitious and alienated ... he was a decidedly contrary genius."