John Adams to Abigail Adams, Letter of 3 July 1776
But the day is past. The second day of July, 1776, will be memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations, as the great Anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp, shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of the continent to the other, from this time forward forever.
Quotations: June 2005 Archives
"Being persuaded that there can be but one true religion taught by Christ, and that the R C is that religion, I conceive it to be my duty to have my grandchildren brought up in it. I feel no ill will or illiberal prejudices against the sectarians which have abandon that faith; if their lives be conformable to the duties and morals prescribed by the Gospel, I have the charity to hope and believe they will be rewarded with eternal happiness, though they may entertain erroneous doctrines in point of faith; the great number in every religion not having the leisure or means to investigate the truth of the doctrines they have been taught, must rest their religious faith on their instructors, and therefore the great body of the people may conscientiously believe that they hold the true faith; but they who, from liberal education, from understanding, from books, not written by one party only, and from leisure, have the means of examining into the truth of the doctrines they have been taught as orthodox, are in my opinion bound to make the examination, nor suffer early instructions and impressions or habits or prejudices to operate against the conviction of what is right. Upon conviction only a change of religion is desirable; on a concern so seriously interesting to all of us no worldly motives should sway our conduct." -- letter to Harriet Chew Carroll, 29 August 1816 (Harriet, or "Hettie," was the daughter-in-law of Charles Carroll)