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Thomas Jefferson quotes (100)

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of natures God entitle them a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Revolution

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Most

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   Category: Attitude

The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Same

One man with courage is a majority.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Courage

Of all exercises walking is the best.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Walk

Im a great believer in luck and I find that the harder I work the more I have of it.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Luck

This institution will be based upon the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: University

The sovereign invigorator of the body is exercise and of all the exercises walking is the best.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Exercise

Thomas Jefferson's Decalogue of Canons VII. Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Will

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Future

Thomas Jefferson's Decalogue of Canons VI. We never repent of having eaten too little.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Food

Certainly one of the highest duties of the citizen is a scrupulous obedience to the laws of the nation. But it is not the highest duty.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Law

Every honest man will suppose honest acts to flow from honest principles and the rogues may rail without intermission.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Honest

Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Calm

Delay is preferable to error.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Delay

Thomas Jefferson's Decalogue of Canons X. When angry count ten before you speak; if very angry a hundred.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Anger

Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in the newspaper.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Advertising

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Gun

Thomas Jefferson's Decalogue of Canons VIII. How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Worry

Above all things I hope the education of the common people will be attended to convinced that on their good sense we may rely with the most security for the preservation of a due degree of liberty.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Education

Ignorance is a poor tool in a battle of wits.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Ignorance

I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government; I mean an additional article taking from the Federal Government the power of borrowing. I now deny their power of making paper money or anything else a legal tender. I know that to pay all proper expenses within the year would in case of war be hard on us. But not so hard as ten wars instead of one. For wars could be reduced in that proportion; besides that the State governments would be free to lend their credit in borrowing quotas.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Administration

... the science of calculation also is indispensable as far as the extraction of the square and cube roots: Algebra as far as the quadratic equation and the use of logarithms are often of value in ordinary cases: but all beyond these is but a luxury; a delicious luxury indeed; but not to be in indulged in by one who is to have a profession to follow for his subsistence.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Mathematics

Friendship is precious not only in the shade but in the sunshine of life.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Friendship

Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices under which weak minds are servility crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat and call on her tribunal for 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   Category: Existence

I never told my religion nor scrutinize that of another. I never attempted to make a convert nor wished to change anothers creed. I have judged of others religion by their lives for it is from our lives and not from our words that our religion must be read. By the same test must the world judge me.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Judge

Peace commerce and honest friendship with all nations entangling alliances with none.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Force

Here was buried Thomas Jefferson Author of the Declaration of American Independence Of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom And Father of the University of Virginia.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Epitaphs

Our liberty depends on freedom of the press And that cannot be limited without being lost.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Freedom

Agriculture manufactures commerce and navigation the four pillars of our prosperity are most thriving when left most free to individual enterprise.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Prosperity

It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Intolerance

Were we directed from Washington when to sow & when to reap we should soon want bread.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Agriculture

Thomas Jefferson's Decalogue of Canons II. Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Yourself

If the children are untaught their ignorance and vices will in future life cost us much dearer in their consequences than it would have done in their correction by a good education.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Taught

I steer my bark with hope in the head leaving fear astern.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Fear

There is no truth existing which I fear or would wish unknown to the whole world.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Truth

Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press and that cannot be limited without being lost.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Liberty

It is neither wealth nor splendor but tranquility and occupation which give happiness.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Happiness

I sincerely believe ... that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Money

Thomas Jefferson's Decalogue of Canons I. Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Procrastination

I believe that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Good


Thomas Jefferson   Category: Christianity

Be polite to all but intimate with few.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Politeness

I own I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Government

Great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Majority

Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Tyranny

When a man assumes a public trust he should consider himself as public property.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Leadership

It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Debt

Only aim to do your duty and mankind will give you credit where you fail.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Duty

A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Cowardice

It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Error

Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Effect

I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Others

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Gains

Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans and must be that of every free state.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Soldier

My views and feelings (are) in favor of the abolition of war and I hope it is practicable by improving the mind and morals of society to lessen the disposition to war; but of its abolition I despair.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: War

The art of life is the art of avoiding pain.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Life

How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Pessimist

The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Religion

I sincerely congratulate you on the arrival of the mockingbird. Learn all the children to venerate it as a superior being in the form of a bird or as a being which will haunt them if any harm is done to itself or its eggs.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Animals

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   Category: Book

Whenever you are to do a thing though it can never be known but to yourself ask yourself how you would act were all the world looking at you and act accordingly.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Behavior

He who permits himself to tell a lie once finds it much easier to do it a second and third time till at length it becomes habitual.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Lever

That government is best which governs the least because its people discipline themselves.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Discipline

Thomas Jefferson's Decalogue of Canons IX. Take things always by their smooth handle.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Hand

Whether I retire to bed early or late I rise with the sun. [Mr. Jefferson rose early everyday for 50 years.]
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Sleep

Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Bank

A superintending power to maintain the Universe in its course and order.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Universe

All men are born free and equal and have certain natural essential and unalienable rights.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Rights

When a man has cast his longing eye on offices a rottenness begins in his conduct.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Public

No man will ever bring out of the Presidency the reputation which carries him into it. To myself personally it brings nothing but increasing drudgery and daily loss of friends.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Reputation

I place economy among the first and important virtues and public debt as the greatest of dangers. To preserve our independence we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our choice between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of caring for them they will be happy.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Easy

I believe that justice is instinct and innate the moral sense is as much a part of our constitution as the threat of feeling seeing and hearing.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Justice

The earth belongs to the living not to the dead.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Earth

If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Safety

The natural cause of the human mind is certainly from credulity to skepticism.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Mind

He who receives an idea from me receives instruction for himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine receives light without darkening me.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Idea

In every country where man is free to think and to speak difference of opinion will arise from difference of perception and the imperfection of reason; but these differences when permitted as in this happy country to purify themselves by free discussion are but as passing clouds overspreading our land transiently and leaving our horizon more bright and serene.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Opinion

To Peter Carr 1785: 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   Category: Health

The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Journalism

In matters of style swim with the current; In matters of principle stand like a rock.
Thomas Jefferson.   Category: Principle

To expect a nation to be ignorant and free is to expect something which never has been and never can be.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Nation

I hold it to be one of the distinguishing excellences of elective over hereditary successions that the talents which nature has provided in sufficient proportion should be selected by the society for the govenment of their affairs rather than that this should be be transmitted through the loins of knaves and fools passing from the debauches of the table to those of the bed.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: President

The man who would choose security over freedom deserves neither.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Security

Thomas Jefferson's Decalogue of Canons V. Pride costs us more than hunger thirst and cold.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Pride

In matters of principle stand like a rock. In matters of taste swim with the current.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Principle

It is as useless to argue with those who have renounced the use of reason as to administer medication to the dead.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Argument

May it be to the world... to assume the blessings and security of self-government.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: World

To every obstacle oppose patience perseverance and soothing language.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Language

If some period be not fixed either by the Constitution or by practice to the services of the First Magistrate his office though nominally elective will in fact be for life and that will soon degenerate into an inheritance.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Constitution

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   Category: If

Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Reason

Planting is one of my great amusements and even of those things which can only be for posterity for a Septuagenary has no right to count on any thing but annuals.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Garden

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

The only thing a man can take beyond this lifetime is his ethics.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Ethics

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   Category: Corrupt

Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: God

I know of no safe repository for the ultimate powers of 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 increase their discretion by education.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Democracy

Thomas Jefferson's Decalogue of Canons IV. Never buy what you do not want ... because it is cheap; it will be dear to you.
Thomas Jefferson   Category: Buy