photo of Samuel AdamsPhoto Credit: WikiMedia Commons

Quotes by Samuel Adams

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Samuel Adams. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Samuel Adams

Samuel Adams (September 27 [O.S. September 16] 1722 – October 2, 1803) was an American statesman, political philosopher, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was a politician in colonial Massachusetts, a leader of the movement that became the American Revolution, and one of the architects of the principles of American republicanism that shaped the political culture of the United States. He was a second cousin to his fellow Founding Father, President John Adams.

Adams was born in Boston, brought up in a religious and politically active family. A graduate of Harvard College, he was an unsuccessful businessman and tax collector before concentrating on politics. He was an influential official of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and the Boston Town Meeting in the 1760s, and he became a part of a movement opposed to the British Parliament's efforts to tax the British American colonies without their consent. His 1768 Massachusetts Circular Letter calling for colonial non-cooperation prompted the occupation of Boston by British soldiers, eventually resulting in the Boston Massacre of 1770. Adams and his colleagues devised a committee of correspondence system in 1772 to help coordinate resistance to what he saw as the British government's attempts to violate the British Constitution at the expense of the colonies, which linked like-minded Patriots throughout the Thirteen Colonies. Continued resistance to British policy resulted in the 1773 Boston Tea Party and the coming of the American Revolution.

Parliament passed the Coercive Acts in 1774, at which time Adams attended the Continental Congress in Philadelphia which was convened to coordinate a colonial response. He helped guide Congress towards issuing the Continental Association in 1774 and the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and he helped draft the Articles of Confederation and the Massachusetts Constitution. Adams returned to Massachusetts after the American Revolution, where he served in the state senate and was eventually elected governor.

Samuel Adams later became a controversial figure in American history. Accounts written in the 19th century praised him as someone who had been steering his fellow colonists towards independence long before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. This view gave way to negative assessments of Adams in the first half of the 20th century, in which he was portrayed as a master of propaganda who provoked mob violence to achieve his goals. Both of these interpretations have been challenged by some modern scholars, who argue that these traditional depictions of Adams are myths contradicted by the historical record.


We shall never be abandoned by Heaven while we act worthy of its aid and protection.



In monarchy the crime of treason may admit of being pardoned or lightly punished, but the man who dares rebel against the laws of a republic ought to suffer death.



It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.



We boast of our freedom, and we have your example for it. We talk the language we have always heard you speak.





Liberty will not long survive the total extinction of morals.



I thank God that I have lived to see my country independent and free. She may long enjoy her independence and freedom if she will. It depends on her virtue.



It requires time to bring honest Men to think and determine alike even in important Matters. Mankind are governed more by their feelings than by reason.



The country shall be independent, and we will be satisfied with nothing short of it.







In the midst of these pleasing ideas we should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections.



Our union is now complete; our constitution composed, established, and approved. You are now the guardians of your own liberties.





All men have a right to remain in a state of nature as long as they please; and in case of intolerable oppression, civil or religious, to leave the society they belong to, and enter into another.





Shame on the men who can court exemption from present trouble and expense at the price of their own posterity's liberty!



The 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.



It is a very great mistake to imagine that the object of loyalty is the authority and interest of one individual man, however dignified by the applause or enriched by the success of popular actions.



One battle would do more towards a Declaration of Independence than a long chain of conclusive arguments in a provincial convention or the Continental Congress.





Driven from every other corner of the earth, freedom of thought and the right of private judgment in matters of conscience direct their course to this happy country as their last asylum.



Principally, and first of all, I resign my soul to the Almighty Being who gave it, and my body I commit to the dust, relying on the merits of Jesus Christ for the pardon of my sins.







Religion and good morals are the only solid foundation of public liberty and happiness.



I would advise persisting in our struggle for liberty, though it were revealed from Heaven that nine hundred and ninety-nine men were to perish, and only one of a thousand to survive and retain his liberty. One such freeman must possess more virtue, and enjoy more happiness, than a thousand slaves.



I cannot however help repeating Piety, because I think it indispensible. Religion in a Family is at once its brightest Ornament and its best Security.



Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.





He who made all men hath made the truths necessary to human happiness obvious to all. Our forefathers opened the Bible to all.



For no People will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can they easily be subdued, where Knowledge is diffusd and Virtue preservd . On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own Weight, without the Aid of foreign Invaders.



Every one knows that the exercise of military power is forever dangerous to civil rights; and we have had recent instances of violences that have been offer'd to private subjects.



If taxes are laid upon us without our having a legal representation where they are laid, we are reduced from the character of free subjects to the state of tributary slaves.

Longer Version:

If taxes are laid upon us in any shape without our having a legal representation where they are laid, are we not reduced from the character of free subjects to the miserable state of tributary slaves? We claim British rights not by charter only! We are born to them.



Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!









The utopian schemes of leveling and a community of goods,  are as visionary and impractical as those which vest all property in the crown. These ideas are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government unconstitutional.



I believe that no people ever yet groaned under the heavy yoke of slavery but when they deserved it.



A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy.

Longer Version:

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.





In regard to religion, mutual toleration in the different professions thereof is what all good and candid minds in all ages have ever practiced, and both by precept and example inculcated on mankind.



If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.





It is therefore recommended... to set apart Thursday the eighteenth day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise, that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor.



While I am in this world, I am resolved that no vexation shall put me out of temper if I can possibly command myself. Even old age, which is making strides towards me, shall not prevail to make me peevish.



The marriage state was designed to complete the sum of human happiness in this life. It sometimes proves otherwise, but this is owing to the parties themselves, who either rush into it without due consideration or fail in point of discretion in their conduct towards each other afterwards.



Numerous have been the manifestations of God's providence in sustaining us. In the gloomy period of adversity, we have had 'our cloud by day and pillar of fire by night.' We have been reduced to distress, and the arm of Omnipotence has raised us up.



Our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty.





Power is, in its nature, encroaching; and such is the human make that men who are vested with a share of it are generally inclined to take more than it was intended they should have.



It is not infrequent to hear men declaim loudly upon liberty, who, if we may judge by the whole tenor of their actions, mean nothing else by it but their own liberty -- to oppress without control, or the restraint of laws, all who are poorer and weaker than themselves.



We have proclaimed to the world our determination 'to die freemen, rather than to live slaves.' We have appealed to Heaven for the justice of our cause, and in Heaven we have placed our trust.



The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on Earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but only to have the law of nature for his rule.



How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!



The Constitution shall never be construed... to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.

Longer Version:

The Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.



We cannot make events. Our business is wisely to improve them.



Mankind are governed more by their feelings than by reason.



Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, and thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can.

Longer Version:

Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: first, a right to life; second, to liberty; third, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can. These are evident branches of ... the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature. All men have a right to remain in a state of nature as long as they please; and in case of intolerable oppression, civil or religious, to leave the society they belong to, and ernter into another.... Now what liberty can there be where property is taken away without consent?


Cite this page:

APA Style Citation:

MLA Style Citation:

Link Back to Us: (preferred, thank you!)

Thank you for citing us - and thank you for sharing our quotes and quotepics - spread the joy - we appreciate it!


We wish you a perfect day!