"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
(1722-1803), was known as the "Father of the American Revolution."
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- eefr, funkey town      
 -- Anonymous      
 -- P.M.      
These words are true beyond our imagination!!!!
 -- chris, miller     
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN      
    and this is exactly what this site is doing
     -- Gregoroff, Penticton BC Canada     
    It seems the Taliban, the Christian Fundamentalists, the Scientologists and the like have caught on to this one quite nicely.
     -- Terry Berg, Occidental, CA     
    Do not doubt that God will bless the efforts of all who comprise the minority of those who support human rights.
     -- David Rosenthal, Hollywood, Florida     
    this is one of the BEST quotes
     -- Joanna Harkin, Washington, DC     
    Short and straight to the point I believe it to be his best quote.
     -- Shane, Temecula, CA     
     -- Anonymous      
     -- Anonymous      
     -- Anonymous, Texas      
    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!
     -- Taylor, somewhere over the rainbow     
    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.
     -- Yelloh     
    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.
     -- warren, olathe     
  • 1
    Thank God for Sam Adams.
     -- who knows, who cares     
  • 1
    I think its time for another REVOLUTION!
     -- Anonymous, S.E. Michigan     
    It's time for a party... a TEA-party!!! Robert Lloyd Ft Myers
     -- Anonymous     
     -- Anonymous      
    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 fires......is all it takes huh
     -- Boudicca, Madison WI     
    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?
     -- An American Patriot, Acushnet, MA     
    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.
     -- Bruce Markwell, Winsted, CT     
    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.
     -- Robert Bidinotto, Washington, DC     
     -- Anonymous      
    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
     -- Frank Svoboda, Cleveland, Ohio     
    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.
     -- Anne, Chicago     
    Anne, Good work if you are indeed correct. Either way, aren't the words just as true?
     -- Rick, Erie     
    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.
     -- Martha, Mount Vernon     
    Great Quote...Go Libertarian, Go Constitution.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Never written or uttered by Adams; the phrases don't appear until the 1830s.
     -- Dan, Kirksillve     
    This phrase is NOT found in any Samuel Adams writings and at this time is considered a misquote.
     -- 1776 Liberal Whig, Boston     
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