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Collections of Thomas Jefferson Famous Quotes


Thomas Jefferson was born on a plantation in Shadwell, Virginia on April 13, 1743 and died on July 4, 1826.

Thomas-Jefferson-Quotes

Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States (1801-1809) and author of the Declaration of Independence. He was a philosopher, educator, naturalist, politician, scientist, architect, inventor, pioneer in scientific farming, musician, and writer, and he was the foremost spokesman for democracy of his day. He accomplished so many things during his lifetime and was also one of the most brilliant individuals in history.

Below are some significant acts by Thomas Jefferson:
  • Attempted to remove several federal judges that President John Adams appointed in the final hours of his term.
  • Declared war on Tripoli in 1801 over the payment of tribute to protect American ships.
  • Acquired the Louisiana Purchase, a vast territory west of the Mississippi, for $15 million in 1803.
  • Organized the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which explored the central and northwestern territories of the United States from 1803 to 1806.
  • Signed the Embargo Act of 1807 to protest the forcible impressment of American sailors by the French and English navies.

Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.
Thomas Jefferson
There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents.
Thomas Jefferson
There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me.
Thomas Jefferson
The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money.
Thomas Jefferson
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
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
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
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
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
Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.
Thomas Jefferson
Speeches that are measured by the hour will die with the hour.
Thomas Jefferson
The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force.
Thomas Jefferson
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
I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.
Thomas Jefferson
When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.
Thomas Jefferson
It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.
Thomas Jefferson
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
War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.
Thomas Jefferson
We did not raise armies for glory or for conquest.
Thomas Jefferson
Money, not morality, is the principle commerce of civilized nations.
Thomas Jefferson
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
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
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
When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.
Thomas Jefferson
I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.
Thomas Jefferson
Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government.
Thomas Jefferson
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
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
I believe that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another.
Thomas Jefferson
My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.
Thomas Jefferson
When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.
Thomas Jefferson
We never repent of having eaten too little.
Thomas Jefferson
Wisdom I know is social. She seeks her fellows. But Beauty is jealous, and illy bears the presence of a rival.
Thomas Jefferson
Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
Thomas Jefferson
The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.
Thomas Jefferson
Leave no authority existing not responsible to the people.
Thomas Jefferson
An enemy generally says and believes what he wishes.
Thomas Jefferson
I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.
Thomas Jefferson
The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.
Thomas Jefferson
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
One travels more usefully when alone, because he reflects more.
Thomas Jefferson
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
I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.
Thomas Jefferson
I have seen enough of one war never to wish to see another.
Thomas Jefferson
Resort is had to ridicule only when reason is against us.
Thomas Jefferson
The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.
Thomas Jefferson
The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory.
Thomas Jefferson
The world is indebted for all triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression.
Thomas Jefferson
Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, till you know there is no hook beneath it.
Thomas Jefferson
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
We may consider each generation as a distinct nation, with a right, by the will of its majority, to bind themselves, but none to bind the succeeding generation, more than the inhabitants of another country.
Thomas Jefferson
I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind.
Thomas Jefferson
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
Happiness is not being pained in body or troubled in mind.
Thomas Jefferson
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
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
Thomas Jefferson
None but an armed nation can dispense with a standing army. To keep ours armed and disciplined is therefore at all times important.
Thomas Jefferson
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
The good opinion of mankind, like the lever of Archimedes, with the given fulcrum, moves the world.
Thomas Jefferson
The second office in the government is honorable and easy; the first is but a splendid misery.
Thomas Jefferson
Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.
Thomas Jefferson
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
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
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
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
The natural cause of the human mind is certainly from credulity to skepticism.
Thomas Jefferson
Always take hold of things by the smooth handle.
Thomas Jefferson
All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
Thomas Jefferson
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

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