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Abigail Adams (1744 - 1818)
Man as Dangerous Creature

I am more and more convinced that Man is a dangerous creature,
and that power whether vested in many or a few is ever grasping,
and like the grave cries give, give. The great fish swallow up the
small, and he who is most strenuous for the Rights of the people,
when vested with power, is as eager after the prerogatives of
Government. You tell me of degrees of perfection to which Humane
Nature is capable of arriving, and I believe it, but at the same time
lament that our admiration should arise from the scarcity of the

(First Lady of the United States, 1797-1801, in a letter dated 1775)

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