Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826. In memory of two great men who worked to obtain our Independence as a nation and ensure our continued freedom, I thought I’d share some of their wise words, today!
“Independence forever.”John Adams, last public words as a toast for the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1826.
“Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.”
John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776
“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If `Thou shalt not covet' and `Thou shalt not steal' were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.”
John Adams, A Defense of the American Constitutions, 1787
“Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.”
John Adams, Defense of the Constitutions, 1787
A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable.
Thomas Jefferson, September 8, 1817
A rigid economy of the public contributions and absolute interdiction of all useless expenses will go far towards keeping the government honest and unoppressive.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Lafayette, 1823
But with respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age, or within the term of 19 years.
Thomas Jefferson, September 6, 1789
Cherish, therefore, the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them by enlightening them. If once they become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, Judges, and Governors, shall all become wolves.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Edward Carrington, January 16, 1787