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Thomas Jefferson Quotes

Thomas Jefferson Quotes & Quotations
Thomas Jefferson
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  • 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-JeffersonThomas Jefferson
  • 2
    A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit. Thomas-JeffersonThomas Jefferson
  • 3
    A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine. Thomas-JeffersonThomas Jefferson
  • 4
    A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government. Thomas-JeffersonThomas Jefferson
  • 5
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. Thomas-JeffersonThomas Jefferson
  • 6
    Always take hold of things by the smooth handle. Thomas-JeffersonThomas Jefferson
  • 7
    An enemy generally says and believes what he wishes. Thomas-JeffersonThomas Jefferson
  • 8
    An injured friend is the bitterest of foes. Thomas-JeffersonThomas Jefferson
  • 9
    As our enemies have found we can reason like men, so now let us show them we can fight like men also. Thomas-JeffersonThomas Jefferson
  • 10
    Be polite to all, but intimate with few. Thomas-JeffersonThomas Jefferson
  • 11
    Bodily decay is gloomy in prospect, but of all human contemplations the most abhorrent is body without mind. Thomas-JeffersonThomas Jefferson
  • 12
    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-JeffersonThomas Jefferson
  • 13
    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-JeffersonThomas Jefferson
  • 14
    Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto. Thomas-JeffersonThomas Jefferson
  • 15
    Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government. Thomas-JeffersonThomas Jefferson
  • 16
    Delay is preferable to error. Thomas-JeffersonThomas Jefferson
  • 17
    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-JeffersonThomas Jefferson
  • 18
    Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, till you know there is no hook beneath it. Thomas-JeffersonThomas Jefferson
  • 19
    Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you. Thomas-JeffersonThomas Jefferson
  • 20
    Don't talk about what you have done or what you are going to do. Thomas-JeffersonThomas Jefferson
  • 21
    Errors of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. Thomas-Jefferson/">Thomas Jefferson
  • 22
    Every generation needs a new revolution. Thomas-Jefferson/">Thomas Jefferson
  • 23
    Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories. Thomas-Jefferson/">Thomas Jefferson
  • 24
    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/">Thomas Jefferson
  • 25
    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/">Thomas Jefferson
  • 26
    For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security. Thomas-Jefferson/">Thomas Jefferson
  • 27
    Force is the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism. Thomas-Jefferson/">Thomas Jefferson
  • 28
    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/">Thomas Jefferson
  • 29
    Happiness is not being pained in body or troubled in mind. Thomas-Jefferson/">Thomas Jefferson
  • 30
    He who knows best knows how little he knows. Thomas-Jefferson/">Thomas Jefferson
  • 31
    He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors. Thomas-Jefferson/">Thomas Jefferson
  • 32
    History, in general, only informs us of what bad government is. Thomas-Jefferson/">Thomas Jefferson
  • 33
    Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. Thomas-Jefferson/">Thomas Jefferson
  • 34
    How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened. Thomas-Jefferson/">Thomas Jefferson
  • 35
    I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind. Thomas-Jefferson/">Thomas Jefferson
  • 36
    I am an Epicurean. I consider the genuine (not the imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy which Greek and Roman leave to us. Thomas-Jefferson/">Thomas Jefferson
  • 37
    I am mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, the sale of a book can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too. Thomas-Jefferson/">Thomas Jefferson
  • 38
    I believe that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another. Thomas-Jefferson/">Thomas Jefferson
  • 39
    I cannot live without books. Thomas-Jefferson/">Thomas Jefferson
  • 40
    I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature. Thomas-Jefferson/">Thomas Jefferson
  • 41
    I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it. Thomas-Jefferson/41.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 42
    I find that he is happiest of whom the world says least, good or bad. Thomas-Jefferson/42.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 43
    I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. Thomas-Jefferson/43.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 44
    I have no ambition to govern men; it is a painful and thankless office. Thomas-Jefferson/44.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 45
    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/45.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 46
    I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Thomas-Jefferson/46.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 47
    I have seen enough of one war never to wish to see another. Thomas-Jefferson/47.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 48
    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/48.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 49
    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/49.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 50
    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/50.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 51
    I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others. Thomas-Jefferson/51.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 52
    I own that I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive. Thomas-Jefferson/52.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 53
    I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. Thomas-Jefferson/53.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 54
    I think with the Romans, that the general of today should be a soldier tomorrow if necessary. Thomas-Jefferson/54.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 55
    I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. Thomas-Jefferson/55.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 56
    I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it. Thomas-Jefferson/56.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 57
    I'm a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it. Thomas-Jefferson/57.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 58
    If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. Thomas-Jefferson/58.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 59
    If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send one hundred and fifty lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour? Thomas-Jefferson/59.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 60
    If there is one principle more deeply rooted in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest. Thomas-Jefferson/60.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 61
    In every country and every age, the priest had been hostile to Liberty. Thomas-Jefferson/61.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 62
    In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas-Jefferson/62.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 63
    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/63.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 64
    Information is the currency of democracy. Thomas-Jefferson/64.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 65
    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/65.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 66
    It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. Thomas-Jefferson/66.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 67
    It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong. Thomas-Jefferson/67.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 68
    It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. Thomas-Jefferson/68.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 69
    It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read. Thomas-Jefferson/69.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 70
    It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape. Thomas-Jefferson/70.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 71
    It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness. Thomas-Jefferson/71.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 72
    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/72.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 73
    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/73.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 74
    Leave no authority existing not responsible to the people. Thomas-Jefferson/74.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 75
    Liberty is to the collective body, what health is to every individual body. Without health no pleasure can be tasted by man; without liberty, no happiness can be enjoyed by society. Thomas-Jefferson/75.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 76
    Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thomas-Jefferson/76.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 77
    Money, not morality, is the principle commerce of civilized nations. Thomas-Jefferson/77.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 78
    My only fear is that I may live too long. This would be a subject of dread to me. Thomas-Jefferson/78.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 79
    My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas-Jefferson/79.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 80
    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/80.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 81
    Never spend your money before you have earned it. Thomas-Jefferson/81.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 82
    No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden. Thomas-Jefferson/82.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 83
    Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances. Thomas-Jefferson/83.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 84
    Nothing is unchangeable but the inherent and unalienable rights of man. Thomas-Jefferson/84.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 85
    One man with courage is a majority. Thomas-Jefferson/85.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 86
    One travels more usefully when alone, because he reflects more. Thomas-Jefferson/86.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 87
    Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail. Thomas-Jefferson/87.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 88
    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/88.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 89
    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/89.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 90
    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/90.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 91
    Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none. Thomas-Jefferson/91.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 92
    Politics is such a torment that I advise everyone I love not to mix with it. Thomas-Jefferson/92.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 93
    Power is not alluring to pure minds. Thomas-Jefferson/93.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 94
    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/94.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 95
    Resort is had to ridicule only when reason is against us. Thomas-Jefferson/95.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 96
    Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual. Thomas-Jefferson/96.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 97
    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/97.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 98
    Taste cannot be controlled by law. Thomas-Jefferson/98.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 99
    That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves. Thomas-Jefferson/99.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 100
    That government is the strongest of which every man feels himself a part. Thomas-Jefferson/100.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 101
    The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave. Thomas-Jefferson/101.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 102
    The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. Thomas-Jefferson/102.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 103
    The earth belongs to the living, not to the dead. Thomas-Jefferson/103.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 104
    The god who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time: the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them. Thomas-Jefferson/104.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 105
    The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time. Thomas-Jefferson/105.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 106
    The good opinion of mankind, like the lever of Archimedes, with the given fulcrum, moves the world. Thomas-Jefferson/106.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 107
    The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers. Thomas-Jefferson/107.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 108
    The most successful war seldom pays for its losses. Thomas-Jefferson/108.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 109
    The natural cause of the human mind is certainly from credulity to skepticism. Thomas-Jefferson/109.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 110
    The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. Thomas-Jefferson/110.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 111
    The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind. Thomas-Jefferson/111.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 112
    The second office in the government is honorable and easy; the first is but a splendid misery. Thomas-Jefferson/112.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 113
    The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force. Thomas-Jefferson/113.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 114
    The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. Thomas-Jefferson/114.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 115
    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Thomas-Jefferson/115.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 116
    The way to silence religious disputes is to take no notice of them. Thomas-Jefferson/116.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 117
    The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it. Thomas-Jefferson/117.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 118
    The world is indebted for all triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression. Thomas-Jefferson/118.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 119
    There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents. Thomas-Jefferson/119.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 120
    There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me. Thomas-Jefferson/120.php">Thomas Jefferson
  • 121
    Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty. Thomas-Jefferson/1">Thomas Jefferson
  • 122
    To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical. Thomas-Jefferson/1">Thomas Jefferson
  • 123
    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical. Thomas-Jefferson/1">Thomas Jefferson
  • 124
    To penetrate and dissipate these clouds of darkness, the general mind must be strengthened by education. Thomas-Jefferson/1">Thomas Jefferson
  • 125
    Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very fast. Thomas-Jefferson/1">Thomas Jefferson
  • 126
    War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses. Thomas-Jefferson/1">Thomas Jefferson
  • 127
    We are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a featherbed. Thomas-Jefferson/1">Thomas Jefferson
  • 128
    We did not raise armies for glory or for conquest. Thomas-Jefferson/1">Thomas Jefferson
  • 129
    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/1">Thomas Jefferson
  • 130
    When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred. Thomas-Jefferson/1">Thomas Jefferson
  • 131
    When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, an hundred. Thomas-Jefferson/1">Thomas Jefferson
  • 132
    When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. Thomas-Jefferson/1">Thomas Jefferson
  • 133
    When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on. Thomas-Jefferson/1">Thomas Jefferson
  • 134
    Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct. Thomas-Jefferson/1">Thomas Jefferson
  • 135
    Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government. Thomas-Jefferson/1">Thomas Jefferson
  • 136
    Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe. Thomas-Jefferson/1">Thomas Jefferson
  • 137
    Wisdom I know is social. She seeks her fellows. But Beauty is jealous, and illy bears the presence of a rival. Thomas-Jefferson/1">Thomas Jefferson