Thomas Jefferson Quotes

That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.
I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.
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.
Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
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.
It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.
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.
I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
Every man has two countries his own and France.
The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.
The bulk of mankind are schoolboys through life.
Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence ... too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment.
When angry, count ten before you speak if very angry, an hundred.
The advertisement is the most truthful part of a newspaper.
Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press and that cannot be limited without being lost.
Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.
He is happiest of whom the world says least, good or bad.
The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.
No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.
The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.
Delay is preferable to error.
No more good must be attempted than the people can bear.
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.
In matters of style, swim with the current in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
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.
One man with courage is a majority.
Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.
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.
Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.
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 the constant companion of your walks.
The Greeks by their laws, and the Romans by the spirit of their people, took care to put into the hands of their rulers no such engine of oppression as a standing army. Their system was to make every man a soldier, and oblige him to repair to the standard of his country whenever that was reared. This made them invincible and the same remedy will make us so.
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.
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.
I steer my bark with hope in the head, leaving fear astern. My hopes indeed sometimes fail, but not oftener than the forebodings of the gloomy.
It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read.
The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.
Difference of opinion is helpful in religion.
The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.
I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life and thanks to a benevolent arrangement of things, the greater part of life is sunshine.
Friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life.
Never enter into dispute or argument with another. I never yet saw an instance of one of two disputants convincing the other by argument. I have seen many on their getting warm, becoming rude and shooting one another.
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.
Determine never to be idle...It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.
Man is fed with fables through life, and leaves it in the belief he knows something of what has been passing, when in truth he has known nothing but what has passed under his own eye.
It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation, which give happiness.
Do not bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook beneath it.
When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.
...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.
Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations entangling alliances with none.
There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents.
Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.
The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.
I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others.
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.
The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers wthout government, I should not hesita
Information is the currency of democracy.
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.
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. That to secure these rights, Governments ar
When a man has cast his longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.
How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened.
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.
I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
It is part of the American character to consider nothing as desperate - to surmount every difficulty by resolution and contrivance.
We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable that all men are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The superiority of chocolate (hot chocolate), both for health and nourishment, will soon give it the same preference over tea and coffee in America which it has in Spain. . .
Never fear the want of business. A man who qualifies himself well for his calling, never fails of employment.
I cannot live without books.
Never trouble another for what you can do for yourself.
Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.
Never spend your money before you have it.
I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.
Health is worth more than learning.
We confide in our strength, without boasting of it we respect that of others, without fearing it.
The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.
Say nothing of my religion. It is known to God and myself alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life if it has been honest and dutiful to society the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one.
No government ought to be without censors & where the press is free, no one ever will.
I have the consolation of having added nothing to my private fortune during my public service, and of retiring with hands clean as they are empty.
Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely 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.
Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.
If our house be on fire, without inquiring whether it was fired from within or without, we must try to extinguish it.
An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens.
Advertisements... contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.
I read no newspaper now but Ritchie's, and in that chiefly the advertisements, for they contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.
Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the ark of the covenant, too sacred to be touched.
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