- In the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would remember the ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could.
letter to John Adams, 31 March 1776; see Defoe
- These are times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed…Great necessities call out great virtues.
letter to John Quincy Adams, 19 January 1780
- A little of what you call frippery is very necessary towards looking like the rest of the world.
letter to John Adams, 1 May 1780