"Wisdom and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused generally among the body of the people, being necessary for the preservation of their rights and liberties, and as these depend on spreading the opportunities and advantages of education in the various parts of the country, and among the different orders of people, it shall be the duty of legislators and magistrates... to cherish the interest of literature and the sciences, and all seminaries of them."
John Adams
(1735-1826) Founding Father, 2nd US President
John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776
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Reader comments about this quote:
As the Puritan Divine, Thomas Manton, expressed it:

" A family is the seminary of church and state; and if children be not well principled there, all miscarrieth ..."

Ultimately, the immense responsibility of the right rearing and education of children rightly resides not with legislators and magistrates but with parents, whose solemn obligation it is to so rear them as to equip them to become Sovereign Individuals.
 -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
  • 4
    The first line of the quote sets the absolute, as all else is measured there to. The occupying statist theocracy infesting this land's seminaries engender and promote the antithesis to wisdom, knowledge and virtue. The current socialists, progressives, hate mongers, etc. that are participating or reveling in today's version of book burning, inclusive of censoring demonstrate the accuracy of the quote's fuller meaning.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 2
    Mike summed it up well.
     -- jim k, Austin     
    Very well said.  Is there any hope for the adults if they were not well principled when children?  For me, my 'awakening' has not been just a rite of passage but the very purpose of living.  Isn't everyone on this journey in some form?  Some wake up sooner than others, some go a long time in Pavlovian servitude to their programmed responses.  Why do some question and some not?  When each of us hold the key to our own liberation, how to get someone to find it?
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 2
    "[I]t shall be the duty of legislators and magistrates... to cherish the interest of literature and the sciences, and all seminaries of them..."  This is not a law but an appeal.  Are legislators to 'cherish' the interest of literature/science in their private capacity or push for legislation that would promote and fund these interests? Adams censored the press during his presidency as editorials were quite unkind to him.  He saw it as sedition to a fledgling government, and who knows how right (or wrong) he may have been, but it appears to be a common tendency from the beginning...
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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