Posterity! you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.
— John Adams in a letter to Abigail Adams (27 April 1777)
There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.
— John Adams in a letter to Jonathan Jackson (2 October 1780)
I like to think that John Adams was, perhaps, the most insightful of our founding patriots. While I don’t think he’d be pleasant to pal around with, that in no way diminishes the message. While Madison was the father of the US Constitution, the “obnoxious and disliked” Adams was the soul of the nation — it just took a while for everyone else to catch up.