John AdamsJohn Adams, (1735-1826) Founding Father, 2nd US President

John Adams Quote

“When people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking, or thinking, I cannot choose but laugh. No such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists; but I hope it will exist. But it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more.”

John AdamsJohn Adams
~ John Adams

letter to Thomas Jefferson, 15 July 1817, Ref: The Yale Book of Quotations, 2006

Ratings and Comments


E Archer, NYC

VERY insightful. Freedom is an ideal we are still endeavoring to reach.

Joe, Rochester, MI

The first freedom of speech is the freedom from speech, in other words, you don't have to say anything.

Anonymous, Reston, VA US

Very pessimistic, and yet... it does seem that he speaks of a goal that we have yet to reach today...

Mike, Norwalk

It sounds like what a free man could say today, contemprary to the prejudicial universities' book burnings.

David L. Rosenthal, Hollywood

Define freedom of expression. Does it mean the freedom to express anything at all? I hope not.

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