Samuel AdamsSamuel Adams, (1722-1803), was known as the "Father of the American Revolution."

Famous Samuel Adams Quote

“It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.”

Samuel AdamsSamuel Adams
~ Samuel Adams

Attributed. Not found in any original writings or speeches.

Ratings and Comments

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P.M.    5/3/05
chris, miller

These words are true beyond our imagination!!!!

Gregoroff, Penticton BC Canada

and this is exactly what this site is doing

Terry Berg, Occidental, CA

It seems the Taliban, the Christian Fundamentalists, the Scientologists and the like have caught on to this one quite nicely.

David Rosenthal, Hollywood, Florida

Do not doubt that God will bless the efforts of all who comprise the minority of those who support human rights.

Joanna Harkin, Washington, DC

this is one of the BEST quotes

Shane, Temecula, CA

Short and straight to the point I believe it to be his best quote.

Taylor, somewhere over the rainbow

I had to find a quote that summed up the French Revolution but was not made about the French Revolution. This quote did that perfectly!

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Yelloh    2/20/07

Everyman's every word is a little flame of rebellion against the norm and it adds heat to the winds of change. Voice is the victory over silence's slavery.

warren, olathe

Only works if the minority has the best interest of the whole in mind. We often look at these quotes and think that it applies to all dissent. There are however times when dissent is intentionally destructive in nature.

who knows, who cares

Thank God for Sam Adams.

Anonymous, S.E. Michigan

I think its time for another REVOLUTION!

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Anonymous    7/21/08

It's time for a party... a TEA-party!!! Robert Lloyd Ft Myers

Boudicca, Madison WI

Did our country not vote for change recently? I think these words can work for our current elected administration as it could work against it. We should not fear the government, the government should fear its citizens if they do not do what they were elected to do............. small all it takes huh

An American Patriot, Acushnet, MA

I think "We The People" are not an irate tireless minority any longer, but an irate tireless majority that is sick and tired of Democrat and Republican nonsense! It's time to face facts fellow Patriots, we have been duped, cheated and deceived for a long time. I can't help but wonder if it's time for the "The tree of liberty to be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants" once again?

Bruce Markwell, Winsted, CT

I can't believe people are attributing this quote to 'patriotism' and religion...those are 2 categories of people that like to follow the sheep herd. Patriotism itself is just racism with a flag...and to think politicians can ever change anything is a delusion. Politicians have no technical capabilities, that can't change things even if they wanted to. Its scientists & technicians that create every progressive breakthrough in our world.

Robert Bidinotto, Washington, DC

I love this often-cited quotation. The problem is, I have searched high and low for ANY original citation for it in Samuel Adams's statements or writings, to no avail. It is always attributed generally to Adams, but never to any specific letter, speech, or document he ever authored. I would love to believe that it is a legitimate quotation. But if no one can footnote it to a specific source, I'm forced to believe it is not an actual Adams quotation.

Frank Svoboda, Cleveland, Ohio

PUBLIC NOTICE: I am, (given name): Frank Svoboda a (Genesis) 1:27 man: “so God created man in his own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them”. Now, I am under Threat, Duress, and Coercion in vile to God and the Republic, I am by United States of America and United States Federal Courts, as a prisoner of war for standing up for my God-given unalienable rights" I am, holds these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that amongst these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness-that to secure these Right, Governments are instituted among men, depriving their just powers from the consent of the governed (the people), that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and to institute new Government. “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds”. Samuel Adams

Anne, Chicago

Unfortunately I have done significant research on this quote and it cannot be attributed to Sam Adams. This first popped up in a biography about him from the 1960s. Fire was much feared at this time and Sam never would have used it as a metaphor.

Rick, Erie
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Rick, Erie    5/2/10

Anne, Good work if you are indeed correct. Either way, aren't the words just as true?

Martha, Mount Vernon

Whether originally said by Samuel Adams or not, I cannot think of a more self-damning or more accurate quote for bullying groups to use as their slogan. The gall to even admit it! In this country it seems the majority is always run roughshod-over by small, vocal, tyrant minority groups. Like small yapping chihuahas biting at the heels of a great dane. I give this quote 5 stars because it is so brilliantly true; not because I like it.

J Carlton, Calgary

Great Quote...Go Libertarian, Go Constitution.

Dan, Kirksillve

Never written or uttered by Adams; the phrases don't appear until the 1830s.

1776 Liberal Whig, Boston

This phrase is NOT found in any Samuel Adams writings and at this time is considered a misquote.

Ronw13, ID
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Ronw13, ID    8/5/22

Brush fires in the minds of patriots/people is a very old concept. Nonetheless I'm sure it was tossed around the table many times by our founding fathers. As to sincere friends of Liberty, they have Always been a minority. Sunshine patriots are a dime a dozen !
The quote by the way rings of Lord Acton's writings, does it not ?

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

If you require change, as we always do, it starts with the individual who rejects the contaminating peer pressure and looks deep into his own soul and discovers his own natural thought processing abilities. He discovers the true natural state of matter and the fact that mother nature did not abandon him after all. The solution was in heart the whole time.


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