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Lift your lamp beside the golden door, Break not the golden rule, avoid well the golden calf, know; not all that glitters is gold, and laissez faire et laissez passer [let do and let pass] but as a shining sentinel, hesitate not to ring the bell, defend the gates, and man the wall

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Monday, April 4, 2011

John Adams

(October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) [Wikipedia]

an American statesman, diplomat and political theorist. A leading champion of independence in 1776, he was the second President of the United States (1797–1801).
Hailing from New England, Adams, a prominent lawyer and public figure in Boston, was highly educated and represented Enlightenment values promoting republicanism.
A conservative Federalist, he was one of the most influential Founding Fathers of the United States.

Adams came to prominence in the early stages of the American Revolution. As a delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress, he played a leading role in persuading Congress to declare independence, and assisted Thomas Jefferson in drafting the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776.

As a representative of Congress in Europe, he was a major negotiator of the eventual peace treaty with Great Britain, and chiefly responsible for obtaining important loans from Amsterdam bankers. A political theorist and historian, Adams largely wrote the Massachusetts state constitution in 1780, but was in Europe when the federal Constitution was drafted on similar principles later in the decade. One of his greatest roles was as a judge of character: in 1775, he nominated George Washington to be commander-in-chief, and 25 years later nominated John Marshall to be Chief Justice of the United States.

Adams' revolutionary credentials secured him two terms as George Washington's vice president and his own election in 1796 as the second president. During his one term, he encountered ferocious attacks by the Jeffersonian Republicans, as well as the dominant faction in his own Federalist Party led by his bitter enemy Alexander Hamilton. Adams signed the controversial Alien and Sedition Acts, and built up the army and navy especially in the face of an undeclared naval war (called the "Quasi War") with France, 1798–1800. The major accomplishment of his presidency was his peaceful resolution of the conflict in the face of Hamilton's opposition.
In 1800 Adams was defeated for reelection by Thomas Jefferson and retired to Massachusetts. He later resumed his friendship with Jefferson. He and his wife, Abigail Adams, founded an accomplished family line of politicians, diplomats, and historians now referred to as the Adams political family. Adams was the father of John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States. His achievements have received greater recognition in modern times, though his contributions were not initially as celebrated as those of other Founders.
  
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LETTERS
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John Adams' Letter to Thomas Jefferson 6-28-1813 
No General Principles More Fit For Posterity Than Christianity

I will hazard a prediction, that after the most industrious and impartial Researches, the longest liver of you all, will find no Principles, Institutions, or Systems of Education, more fit, IN GENERAL to be transmitted to your Posterity, than those you have received from you[r] Ancestors.
And what were these general Principles? I answer, the general Principles of Christianity, in which all those Sects were united: And the general Principles of English and American Liberty, in which all those young Men United, and which had United all Parties in America, in Majorities sufficient to assert and maintain her Independence.
Now I will avow, that I then believed, and now believe, that those general Principles of Christianity, are as eternal and immutable, as the Existence and Attributes of God; and that those Principles of Liberty, are as unalterable as human Nature and our terrestrial, mundane System.



Full Document-


 
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Dr. Benjamin Rush's Dream 
about John Adams and Thomas Jefferson's Reconciliation
“What book is that in your hands?” said I to my son Richard [who later became the Secretary of State under President James Monroe] a few nights ago in a dream. “It is the history of the United States,” said he. “Shall I read a page of it to you?” “No, no,” said I. “I believe in the truth of no history but in that which is contained in the Old and New Testaments.” “But, sir,” said my son, “this page relates to your friend Mr. Adams.” “Let me see it then,” said I. I read it with great pleasure and herewith send you a copy of it."


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Adams' Correspondences

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QUOTES
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“A nation of laws, not of men” [no representative above the Law]

The Foundation of a Free Constitution

"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"

Are and by Right Ought To Be FREE

"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."

The Finer Arts

"The science of government is my duty to study, more than all other sciences; the arts of legislation and administration and negotiation ought to take place of, indeed to exclude, in a manner, all other arts. I must study politics and war, that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain."
An Excerpt from an HBO and Playtone MiniSeries "John Adams"


THE CONSTITUTION: 

FOR A MORAL AND RELIGIOUS PEOPLE

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." (The Works of John Adams, ed. C. F. Adams, Boston: Little, Brown Co., 1851, 4:31)
http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=2107&chapter=161247&layout=html&Itemid=27


The General Principles of Christianity

"The general Principles, on which the Fathers Atchieved Independence, were the only Principles in which that beautiful Assembly of young Gentlemen could Unite, and these Principles only could be intended by them in their Address, or by me in my Answer. And what were these general Principles? I answer, the general Principles of Christianity, in which all those Sects were united: And the general Principles of English and American Liberty, in which all those young Men United, and which had United all Parties in America, in Majorities sufficient to assert and maintain her Independence.  
Now I will avow, that I then believed, and now believe, that those general Principles of Christianity, are as eternal and immutable, as the Existence and Attributes of God; and that those Principles of Liberty, are as unalterable as human Nature and our terrestrial, mundane System."

Re: The Boston Tea Party

"This is the most magnificent movement of all! There is a dignity, a majesty, a sublimity, in this last effort of the patriots that I greatly admire. The people should never rise without doing something to be remembered — something notable and striking. This destruction of the tea is so bold, so daring, so firm, intrepid and inflexible, and it must have so important consequences, and so lasting, that I can't but consider it as an epocha in history!"

Letter to Thomas Jefferson (November 4, 1816)
"Conclude not from all this, that I have renounced the Christian religion, or that I agree with Dupuis in all his Sentiments. Far from it. I see in every Page, Something to recommend Christianity in its Purity and Something to discredit its Corruptions. ... The Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount contain my Religion."


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BOOKS
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John Adams covered in Pages 33-55


by Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen
John Adams repeatedly mentioned xxii-166









   

John Adams: A Life
by John E. Ferling
  John Adams Papers










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John Adams' Diary


http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/aea/browse/diaries_by_date.html

FEBRUARY 22, 1756 - What if a Nation took the Bible for its only law? It would be Paradise.

MARCH 2, 1756 - God the almighty author of nature can as easily suspend those laws, thus the miracles of Jesus Christ. It took the surprise of Miracles to awaken the thoughtful among the heathern to the truth.

MARCH  7, 1756 - Everything is connected in God's complicated plan

JULY 26, 1796 - Christianity: Wisdom, Virtue, Equity, Humanity; God is good.

"The Christian religion is above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modem times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity, and humanity, let the blackguard Paine say what he will; it is resignation to God, it is goodness itself to man."
AUGUST 24, 1796 - The great Christian principle: the law of nature and nations, for every man woman and child 
 "Love your neighbor as yourself, and do to others as you would that others should do to you"

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