Thomas Jefferson Quotes

- Notable Thomas Jefferson Quotes Index -

Born: April 13, 1743, Shadwell, VA, USA
Birth Country: USA
Died: Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., July 4, 1826
Occupation: President of the United States, Founding Father Ideology: Conservative

1.
A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.
- Thomas Jefferson

2.
A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.
- Thomas Jefferson

3.
A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circlue of our felicities.
- Thomas Jefferson

4.
An association of men who will not quarrel with one another is a thing which has never yet existed, from the greatest confederacy of nations down to a town meeting or a vestry.
- Thomas Jefferson

5.
As our enemies have found we can reason like men, so now let us show them we can fight like men also.
- Thomas Jefferson

6.
Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. It is not, then, an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out in life, it is their only capital.
- Thomas Jefferson

7.
But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine.
- Thomas Jefferson

8.
Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government.
- Thomas Jefferson

9.
Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.
- Thomas Jefferson

10.
Difference of opinion is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a Censor - over each other.
- Thomas Jefferson

11.
Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.
- Thomas Jefferson

12.
Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.
- Thomas Jefferson

13.
Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor.
- Thomas Jefferson

14.
Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
- Thomas Jefferson

15.
Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.
- Thomas Jefferson

16.
For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security.
- Thomas Jefferson

17.
Friendship is but another name for an alliance with the follies and the misfortunes of others. Our own share of miseries is sufficient: why enter then as volunteers into those of another?
- Thomas Jefferson

18.
Happiness is not being pained in body or troubled in mind.
- Thomas Jefferson

19.
He who knows best knows how little he knows.
- Thomas Jefferson

20.
He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.
- Thomas Jefferson

21.
History, in general, only informs us of what bad government is.
- Thomas Jefferson

22.
Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
- Thomas Jefferson

23.
I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind.
- Thomas Jefferson

24.
I believe that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another.
- Thomas Jefferson

25.
I find that he is happiest of whom the world says least, good or bad.
- Thomas Jefferson

26.
I have no ambition to govern men it is a painful and thankless office.
- Thomas Jefferson

27.
I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master.
- Thomas Jefferson

28.
I have seen enough of one war never to wish to see another.
- Thomas Jefferson

29.
I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
- Thomas Jefferson

30.
I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.
- Thomas Jefferson

31.
I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.
- Thomas Jefferson

32.
I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion.
- Thomas Jefferson

33.
I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
- Thomas Jefferson

34.
I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.
- Thomas Jefferson

35.
I own that I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.
- Thomas Jefferson

36.
I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just that his justice cannot sleep forever.
- Thomas Jefferson

37.
I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way.
- Thomas Jefferson

38.
If God is just, I tremble for my country.
- Thomas Jefferson

39.
If we can but prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy.
- Thomas Jefferson

40.
Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong.
- Thomas Jefferson

41.
In every country and every age, the priest had been hostile to Liberty.
- Thomas Jefferson

42.
In truth, politeness is artificial good humor, it covers the natural want of it, and ends by rendering habitual a substitute nearly equivalent to the real virtue.
- Thomas Jefferson

43.
It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others: or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own.
- Thomas Jefferson

44.
It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.
- Thomas Jefferson

45.
It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.
- Thomas Jefferson

46.
It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read.
- Thomas Jefferson

47.
It is neither wealth nor splendor but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.
- Thomas Jefferson

48.
It is our duty still to endeavor to avoid war but if it shall actually take place, no matter by whom brought on, we must defend ourselves. If our house be on fire, without inquiring whether it was fired from within or without, we must try to extinguish it.
- Thomas Jefferson

49.
It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good.
- Thomas Jefferson

50.
Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.
- Thomas Jefferson

51.
Money, not morality, is the principle commerce of civilized nations.
- Thomas Jefferson

52.
My only fear is that I may live too long. This would be a subject of dread to me.
- Thomas Jefferson

53.
My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.
- Thomas Jefferson

54.
My theory has always been, that if we are to dream, the flatteries of hope are as cheap, and pleasanter, than the gloom of despair.
- Thomas Jefferson

55.
Never spend your money before you have earned it.
- Thomas Jefferson

56.
No government ought to be without censors and where the press is free no one ever will.
- Thomas Jefferson

57.
Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.
- Thomas Jefferson

58.
Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.
- Thomas Jefferson

59.
One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them.
- Thomas Jefferson

60.
One man with courage is a majority.
- Thomas Jefferson

61.
One travels more usefully when alone, because he reflects more.
- Thomas Jefferson

62.
Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence.
- Thomas Jefferson

63.
Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.
- Thomas Jefferson

64.
Peace and abstinence from European interferences are our objects, and so will continue while the present order of things in America remain uninterrupted.
- Thomas Jefferson

65.
Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.
- Thomas Jefferson

66.
Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations entangling alliances with none.
- Thomas Jefferson

67.
Politics is such a torment that I advise everyone I love not to mix with it.
- Thomas Jefferson

68.
Power is not alluring to pure minds.
- Thomas Jefferson

69.
Question with boldness even the existence of a God because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.
- Thomas Jefferson

70.
So confident am I in the intentions, as well as wisdom, of the government, that I shall always be satisfied that what is not done, either cannot, or ought not to be done.
- Thomas Jefferson

71.
Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.
- Thomas Jefferson

72.
That government is the strongest of which every man feels himself a part.
- Thomas Jefferson

73.
The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.
- Thomas Jefferson

74.
The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people that... it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.
- Thomas Jefferson

75.
The Creator has not thought proper to mark those in the forehead who are of stuff to make good generals. We are first, therefore, to seek them blindfold, and then let them learn the trade at the expense of great losses.
- Thomas Jefferson

76.
The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money.
- Thomas Jefferson

77.
The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.
- Thomas Jefferson

78.
The good opinion of mankind, like the lever of Archimedes, with the given fulcrum, moves the world.
- Thomas Jefferson

79.
The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory.
- Thomas Jefferson

80.
The most successful war seldom pays for its losses.
- Thomas Jefferson

81.
The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.
- Thomas Jefferson

82.
The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind.
- Thomas Jefferson

83.
The second office in the government is honorable and easy the first is but a splendid misery.
- Thomas Jefferson

84.
The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.
- Thomas Jefferson

85.
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
- Thomas Jefferson

86.
There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents.
- Thomas Jefferson

87.
There is not a truth existing which I fear... or would wish unknown to the whole world.
- Thomas Jefferson

88.
Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.
- Thomas Jefferson

89.
To penetrate and dissipate these clouds of darkness, the general mind must be strengthened by education.
- Thomas Jefferson

90.
Truth is certainly a branch of morality and a very important one to society.
- Thomas Jefferson

91.
Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very fast.
- Thomas Jefferson

92.
War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.
- Thomas Jefferson

93.
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
- Thomas Jefferson

94.
Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.
- Thomas Jefferson

95.
When a man assumes a public trust he should consider himself a public property.
- Thomas Jefferson

96.
When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.
- Thomas Jefferson

97.
When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.
- Thomas Jefferson

98.
Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.
- Thomas Jefferson

99.
Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.
- Thomas Jefferson

100.
Wisdom I know is social. She seeks her fellows. But Beauty is jealous, and illy bears the presence of a rival.
- Thomas Jefferson

Quotes by Thomas Jefferson

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