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Quote Author Cited
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
It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good. Thomas Jefferson
The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force. 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
Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories. Thomas Jefferson
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
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape. Thomas Jefferson
Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper. Thomas Jefferson
Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct. Thomas Jefferson
The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time. Thomas Jefferson
Delay is preferable to error. Thomas Jefferson
A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit. Thomas Jefferson
I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. Thomas Jefferson
It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. Thomas Jefferson
Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition. 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
One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them. Thomas Jefferson
Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains. Thomas Jefferson
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
The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave. Thomas Jefferson
I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. 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
Force is the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism. Thomas Jefferson
No man will ever carry out of the Presidency the reputation which carried him into it. Thomas Jefferson
I cannot live without books. Thomas Jefferson
Banks may be considered as the primary source of "paper speculation," and only the foster the spirit of gambling in paper, in lands, in canal schemes, town lot schemes, manufacturing schemes and whatever could hit the madness of the day. Thomas Jefferson
Having found, from experience, that impeachment is an impracticable thing, a mere scare-crow, they consider themselves secure for life; they skulk from responsibility to public opinion. Thomas Jefferson
It should be remembered, as an axiom of eternal truth in politics, that whatever power in any government is independent, is absolute also; in theory only, at first, while the spirit of the people is up, but in practice, as fast as that relaxes. Independence can be trusted nowhere but with the people in mass. Thomas Jefferson
Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free. Nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government. Nature, habit, opinion has drawn indelible lines of distinction between them. Thomas Jefferson
It is still in our power to direct the process of emancipation and deportation peaceably and in such slow degree as that the evil will wear off insensibly, and their place be pari passu filled up by free white laborers. If on the contrary it is left to force itself on, human nature must shudder at the prospect held up. Thomas Jefferson
The Military shall be subordinate to the Civil authority Thomas Jefferson
Trial by jury, the best of all safeguards for the person, the property, and the fame of every individual. Thomas Jefferson
It astonishes me to find... that so many of our countrymen... should be contented to live under a system which leaves to their governors the power of taking from them the trial by jury in civil cases, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of commerce, the habeas corpus laws, and of yoking them with a standing army. This is a degeneracy in the principles of liberty Thomas Jefferson
A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular; and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inferences. Thomas Jefferson
I have a right to nothing, which another has a right to take away; and Congress will have a right to take away trials by jury in civil cases. Let me add, that a bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth. Thomas Jefferson
I disapproved from the first moment... the want of a bill of rights to guard liberty against the legislative as well as the executive branches of the government … Thomas Jefferson
The Indians have a right to the occupation of their lands, independent of the States within whose chartered lines they happen to be Thomas Jefferson
I disapprove... of the proposal to subject the Indians to our laws without their consent,... It is so little in concord with our principles of government. Thomas Jefferson
The want of attention to the rights of Indians is a principal source of dishonor to the American character. The two principles on which our conduct towards the Indians should be founded, are justice and fear. After the injuries we have done them, they cannot love us, which leaves us no alternative but that of fear to keep them from attacking us. But justice is what we should never lose sight of, and in time it may recover their esteem. Thomas Jefferson
It is the duty of every good citizen to use all the opportunities, which occur to him, for preserving documents relating to the history of our country. Thomas Jefferson
What a stupendous, what an incomprehensible machine is man! Who can endure toil, famine, stripes, imprisonment & death itself in vindication of his own liberty, and the next moment . . . inflict on his fellow men a bondage, one hour of which is fraught with more misery than ages of that which he rose in rebellion to oppose Thomas Jefferson
Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds. Thomas Jefferson
Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. Thomas Jefferson
Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost Thomas Jefferson
I never attempted to make a convert, nor wished to change another's creed Thomas Jefferson
It is in our lives, and not from our words, that our religion must be judged. Thomas Jefferson
… the ravings of a maniac Thomas Jefferson
To the corruptions of Christianity I am, indeed, opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. Thomas Jefferson
The clergy converted the simple teachings of Jesus into an engine for enslaving mankind and adulterated by artificial constructions into a contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves…these clergy, in fact, constitute the real Anti-Christ. Thomas Jefferson
Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear. Thomas Jefferson
But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State Thomas Jefferson
I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth. Thomas Jefferson
The alliance between church and state in England, has ever made their judges accomplice in the frauds of the clergy. Thomas Jefferson
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. Thomas Jefferson
I never did, or countenanced, in public life, a single act inconsistent with the strictest good faith; having never believed there was one code of morality for a public, and another for a private man. Thomas Jefferson
We continue to receive proofs of the growing attachment of our Indian neighbors and of their dispositions to place all their interests under the patronage of the United States. These dispositions are inspired by their confidence in our justice and in the sincere concern we feel for their welfare; and as long as we discharge these high and honorable functions with the integrity and good faith which alone can entitle us to their continuance we may expect to reap the just reward in their peace and friendship. Thomas Jefferson
Where an enterprise is meditated by private individuals against a foreign nation in amity with the United States, powers of prevention to a certain extent are given by the laws. Would they not be as reasonable and useful where the enterprise preparing is against the United States? Thomas Jefferson
Having received information that in another part of the United States a great number of private individuals were combining together, arming and organizing themselves contrary to law, to carry on a military expedition against the territories of Spain, I thought it necessary, by proclamation as well as by special orders, to take measures for preventing and suppressing this enterprise, for seizing the vessels, arms, and other means provided for it, and for arresting and bringing to justice its authors and abettors. It was due to that good faith which ought ever to be the rule of action in public as well as in private transactions, it was due to good order and regular government, that while the public force was acting strictly on defensive and merely to protect our citizens from aggression the criminal attempts of private individuals to decide for their country the question of peace or war by commencing active and unauthorized hostilities should be promptly and efficaciously suppressed. Thomas Jefferson
I congratulate you on the liberation of our fellow citizens who were stranded on the coast of Tripoli and made prisoners of war. In a government bottomed on the will of all the life and liberty of every individual citizen become interesting to all. In the treaty, therefore, which has concluded our warfare with that State an article for the ransom of our citizens has been agreed to. An operation by land by a small band of our country-men and others, engaged for the occasion in conjunction with the troops of the ex-Bashaw of that country, gallantly conducted by our late consul, Eaton, and their successful enterprise on the city of Derne, contributed doubtless to the impression which produced peace, and the conclusion of this prevented opportunities of which the officers and men of our squadron destined for Tripoli would have availed themselves to emulate the acts of valor exhibited by their brethren in the attack of the last year. Reflecting with high satisfaction on the distinguished bravery displayed whenever occasions permitted it in the late Mediterranean service, I think it would be an useful encouragement as well as a just reward to make an opening for some present promotion by enlarging our peace establishment of captains and lieutenants. Thomas Jefferson
An immediate prohibition of the exportation of arms and ammunition is also submitted to your determination. Thomas Jefferson
Restrain our citizens from embarking individually in a war in which their country takes no part …. How desirable, then, must it be in a Government like ours to see its citizens adopt individually the views, the interests, and the conduct which their country should pursue, divesting themselves of those passions and partialities which tend to lessen useful friendships and to embarrass and embroil us in the calamitous scenes of Europe. Thomas Jefferson
The small vessels authorized by Congress with a view to the Mediterranean service have been sent into that sea, and will be able more effectually to confine the Tripoline cruisers within their harbors and supersede the necessity of convoy to our commerce in that quarter. Thomas Jefferson
With many of the … Indian tribes, improvements in agriculture and household manufacture are advancing, and with all our peace and friendship are established on grounds much firmer than heretofore. The measure adopted of establishing trading houses among them and of furnishing them necessaries in exchange for their commodities at such moderate prices as leave no gain, but cover us from loss, has the most conciliatory and useful effect on them, and is that which will best secure their peace and good will. Thomas Jefferson
[Referring to New Orleans] We had not been unaware of the danger to which our peace would be perpetually exposed whilst so important a key to the commerce of the Western country remained under foreign power …. With the wisdom of Congress it will rest to take those ulterior measures which may be necessary for the immediate occupation and temporary government of the country; for its incorporation into our Union; for rendering the change of government a blessing to our newly adopted brethren; for securing to them the rights of conscience and of property; for confirming to the Indian inhabitants their occupancy and self-government, establishing friendly and commercial relations with them, and for ascertaining the geography of the country acquired …. we had not been unaware of the danger to which our peace would be perpetually exposed whilst so important a key to the commerce of the Western country remained under foreign power Thomas Jefferson
In order to remove every ground of difference possible with our Indian neighbors, I have proceeded in the work of settling with them and marking the boundaries between us…. A prompt settlement, too, of all existing rights and claims within this territory presents itself as a preliminary operation. Thomas Jefferson
I lay before you an act of the British Parliament anticipating this subject so far as to authorize a mutual abolition of the duties and countervailing duties permitted under the treaty of 1794. It shows on their part a spirit of justice and friendly accommodation which it is our duty and our interest to cultivate with all nations. Whether this would produce a due equality in the navigation between the two countries is a subject for your consideration. Thomas Jefferson
Shall we refuse to the unhappy fugitives from distress that hospitality which the savages of the wilderness extended to our fathers arriving in this land? Shall oppressed humanity find no asylum on this globe? …. might not the general character and capabilities of a citizen be safely communicated to everyone manifesting a bona fide purpose of embarking his life and fortunes permanently with us. Thomas Jefferson
Agriculture, manufactures, commerce, and navigation, the 4 pillars of our prosperity … Thomas Jefferson
We may well doubt whether our organization is not too complicated, too expensive; whether offices and officers have not been multiplied unnecessarily and sometimes injuriously to the service they were meant to promote. Thomas Jefferson
Sound principles will not justify our taxing the industry of our fellow citizens to accumulate treasure for wars to happen we know not when, and which might not, perhaps, happen but from the temptations offered by that treasure. Thomas Jefferson
Other circumstances, combined with the increase of numbers of people, have produced an augmentation of revenue arising from consumption in a ratio far beyond that of population alone; and though the changes in foreign relations now taking place so desirably for the whole world may for a season affect this branch of revenue, yet weighing all probabilities of expense as well as of income, there is reasonable ground of confidence that we may now safely dispense with all the internal taxes…. the remaining sources of revenue will be sufficient to provide for the support of Government, to pay the interest of the public debts, and to discharge the principals within shorter periods than the laws or the general expectation had contemplated. Thomas Jefferson
Unauthorized by the Constitution, without the sanction of Congress, to go beyond the line of defense, the vessel, being disabled from committing further hostilities, was liberated with its crew. The Legislature will doubtless consider whether, by authorizing measures of offense also, they will place our force on an equal footing with that of its adversaries. Thomas Jefferson
Whilst we devoutly return thanks to the beneficent Being who has been pleased to breathe into them the spirit of conciliation and forgiveness, we are bound with peculiar gratitude to be thankful to Him that our own peace has been preserved through so perilous a season… Thomas Jefferson
The bank mania is one of the most threatening of these imitations. It is raising up a monied aristocracy in our country which has already set the government at defiance, and although forced at length to yield a little on this first essay of their strength, their principles are unyielded and unyielding. Thomas Jefferson
[Political] offices are as acceptable here as elsewhere, and whenever a man cast a longing eye on them, a rottenness begins in his conduct. Thomas Jefferson
The cultivators of the earth are the most virtuous citizens, and possess most of the amor patriae. Merchants are the least virtuous, and possess the least of the amor patriae. Thomas Jefferson
Having always observed that public works are much less advantageously managed than the same are by private hands, I have thought it better for the public to go to market for whatever it wants which is to be found there; for there competition brings it down to the minimum of value. I have no doubt we can buy brass cannon at market cheaper than we could make iron ones. Thomas Jefferson
I am safe in affirming that the proofs of genius given by the Indians of North America place them on a level with whites in the same uncultivated state. Thomas Jefferson
We wish for their own good to give the Indians full participation of the benefits of our free and mild government Thomas Jefferson
Convinced of its soundness, I feel it consistent with pure morality to lead the Indians towards becoming citizens, to familiarize them to the idea that it is for their interest to cede lands at times to the United States, and for us to procure gratifications to our citizens from time to time by new acquisitions of land Thomas Jefferson
The ultimate point of rest and happiness for the Indians is to let our settlements and theirs meet and blend together, to intermix and become one people, incorporating themselves with us as citizens of the U.S. This is what the natural progress of things will of course bring on, and it will be better to promote than retard it. Surely it will be better for them to be identified with us and preserved in the occupation of their lands, than be exposed to the many casualties which may endanger them while a separate people. Thomas Jefferson
These people are becoming very sensible of the baneful effects produced on their morals, their health and existence, by the abuse of ardent spirits, and some of them earnestly desire a prohibition of that article from being carried among them. The legislature will consider whether the effectuating that desire would not be in the spirit of benevolence and liberality which they have hitherto practiced toward these our neighbors, and which has had so happy an effect toward conciliating their friendship. Thomas Jefferson
Instead … of an augmentation of military force proportioned to our extension of frontier, I proposed a moderate enlargement of the capital employed in that commerce, as a more effectual, economical, and humane instrument for preserving peace and good neighborhood with them Thomas Jefferson
We make to the Indians this solemn declaration of our unalterable determination, that we wish them to live in peace with all nations as well as with us, and we have no intention ever to strike them or to do them an injury of any sort, unless first attacked or threatened Thomas Jefferson
Towards the attainment of our two objects of peace and lands, it is essential that our agent acquire that sort of influence over the Indians which rests on confidence. Thomas Jefferson
The most economical as well as the most humane conduct towards the Indians is to bribe them into peace and to retain them in peace by eternal bribes Thomas Jefferson
Our system is to live in perpetual peace with the Indians, to cultivate an affectionate attachment from them by everything just and liberal which we can do for them within the bounds of reason, and by giving them effectual protection against wrongs from our own people. Thomas Jefferson
The aboriginal inhabitants of these countries I have regarded with the commiseration their history inspires. Endowed with the faculties and the rights of men, breathing an ardent love of liberty and independence, and occupying a country which left them no desire but to be undisturbed, the stream of overflowing population from other regions directed itself on these shores. Without power to divert or habits to contend against, they have been overwhelmed by the current or driven before it. Now reduced within limits too narrow for the hunter's state, humanity enjoins us to teach them agriculture and the domestic arts, to encourage them to that industry which alone can enable them to maintain their place in existence and to prepare them in time for that state of society which to bodily comforts adds the improvement of the mind and morals. Thomas Jefferson
Where the disease is most deeply seated, there it will be slowest in eradication. In the Northern States it was merely superficial and easily corrected. In the Southern, it is incorporated with the whole system and requires time, patience, and perseverance in the curative process. That it may finally be effected and its progress hastened, will be my last and fondest prayer. Thomas Jefferson
It will probably be asked, Why not retain and incorporate the blacks into the State [instead of colonizing them]? Deep rooted prejudices entertained by the whites, ten thousand recollections by the blacks of the injuries they have sustained, new provocations, the real distinctions which nature has made, and many other circumstances will divide us into parties and produce convulsions which will probably never end but in the extermination of the one or the other race. Thomas Jefferson
In the disposition of these unfortunate people, there are two rational objects to be distinctly kept in view. First. The establishment of a colony on the coast of Africa, which may introduce among the aborigines the arts of cultivated life, and the blessings of civilization and science. By doing this, we may make to them some retribution for the long course of injuries we have been committing on their population. Thomas Jefferson
Nobody wishes more ardently to see an abolition, not only of the trade, but of the condition of slavery; and certainly, nobody will be more willing to encounter every sacrifice for that object. Thomas Jefferson
Do not mistake me. I am not advocating slavery. I am not justifying the wrongs we have committed on a foreign people... On the contrary, there is nothing I would not sacrifice to a practicable plan of abolishing every vestige of this moral and political depravity. Thomas Jefferson
Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate, than that these people [blacks] are to be free; nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government. Thomas Jefferson
As to other foreigners it is thought better to discourage their settling together in large masses, wherein, as in our German settlements, they preserve for a long time their own languages, habits, and principles of government, and that they should distribute themselves sparsely among the natives for quicker amalgamation. Thomas Jefferson
Born in other countries, yet believing you could be happy in this, our laws acknowledge, as they should do, your right to join us in society, conforming, as I doubt not you will do, to our established rules. Thomas Jefferson
It has been the wise policy of these states to extend the protection of their laws to all those who should settle among them of whatever nation or religion they might be and to admit them to a participation of the benefits of civil and religious freedom, and... the benevolence of this practice as well as its salutary effects has rendered it worthy of being continued in future times. Thomas Jefferson
America is now … the only country of tranquility and should be the asylum of all those who wish to avoid the scenes which have crushed our friends in other lands Thomas Jefferson
Shall we refuse the unhappy fugitives from distress that hospitality which the savages of the wilderness extended to our fathers arriving in this land? Shall oppressed humanity find no asylum on this globe? Thomas Jefferson
Our ancestors... possessed a right, which nature has given to all men, of departing from the country in which chance, not choice, has placed them, of going in quest of new habitations, and of there establishing new societies, under such laws and regulations as, to them, shall seem most likely to promote public happiness Thomas Jefferson
I apprehend... that the total abandonment of the principle of rotation in the offices of President and Senator will end in abuse. Thomas Jefferson
A permanent constitution must be the work of quiet, leisure, much inquiry, and great deliberation. Thomas Jefferson
We should effect a constitution in which the will of the nation shall have an organized control over the actions of its government, and its citizens a regular protection against its oppressions. Thomas Jefferson
I am persuaded no Constitution was ever before so well calculated as ours for extensive empire and self-government. Thomas Jefferson
Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them.... In every country these two parties exist.... Call them, therefore, liberals and serviles, Jacobins and Ultras, Whigs and Tories, republicans and federalists, aristocrats and democrats, or by whatever name you please, they are the same party still and pursue the same object. Thomas Jefferson
In every free and deliberating society, there must, from the nature of man, be opposite parties, and violent dissentions and discords; and one of these, for the most part, must prevail over the other for a longer or shorter time. Thomas Jefferson
A most powerful objection always arises to propositions of public works. It is that public undertakings are carelessly managed and much money spent to little purpose Thomas Jefferson
The poor who have neither property, friends, nor strength to labor are boarded in the houses of good farmers, to whom a stipulated sum is annually paid. To those who are able to help themselves a little or have friends from whom they derive some succor, inadequate however to their full maintenance, supplementary aids are given which enable them to live comfortably in their own houses or in the houses of their friends. Vagabonds without visible property or vocation, are placed in work houses, where they are well clothed, fed, lodged, and made to labor. Thomas Jefferson
It is a duty certainly to give our sparings to those who want; but to see also that they are faithfully distributed and duly apportioned to the respective wants of those receivers. Thomas Jefferson
I am an enthusiast on the subject of the arts…. its object is to improve the taste of my countrymen, to increase their reputation, to reconcile to them the respect of the world, and procure them its praise. Thomas Jefferson
Though we cannot relieve all the distressed, we should relieve as many as we can. Thomas Jefferson
With respect to marine hospitals... such establishments have been made by the General Government in the several States,... a portion of seaman's wages is drawn for their support, and the government furnishes what is deficient. Thomas Jefferson
I view roads as a source of boundless patronage to the executive, jobbing to members of Congress and their friends, and a bottomless abyss of public money. You will begin by only appropriating the surplus of the post office revenues; but the other revenues will soon be called into their aid, and it will be a source of eternal scramble among the members, who can get the most money wasted in their State Thomas Jefferson
The opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction. Thomas Jefferson
Considering history as a moral exercise, her lessons would be too infrequent if confined to real life. Of those recorded by historians few incidents have been attended with such circumstances as to excite in any high degree this sympathetic emotion of virtue. We are, therefore, wisely framed to be as warmly interested for a fictitious as for a real personage. The spacious field of imagination is thus laid open to our use, and lessons may be formed to illustrate and carry home to the heart every moral rule of life. Thus a lively and lasting sense of filial duty is more effectually impressed on the mind of a son or daughter by reading King Lear, than by all the dry volumes of ethics and divinity that ever were written. Thomas Jefferson
Secure to all … citizens a perfect equality of rights Thomas Jefferson
How soon the labor of men would make a paradise of the whole earth, were it not for misgovernment, and a diversion of all his energies from their proper object -- the happiness of man -- to the selfish interest of kings, nobles, and priests. Thomas Jefferson
Is it best to put the pseudo-aristoi (of wealth and birth) into a separate chamber of legislation, where they may be hindered from doing mischief by their coordinate branches, and where, also, they may be a protection to wealth against the agrarian and plundering enterprises of the majority of the people? I think that to give them power in order to prevent them from doing mischief is arming them for it, and increasing instead of remedying the evil. For if the coordinate branches can arrest their action, so may they that of the coordinates. Mischief may be done negatively as well as positively... Nor do I believe them necessary to protect the wealthy; because enough of these will find their way into every branch of the legislation to protect themselves Thomas Jefferson
Do not be frightened into their surrender by the alarms of the timid, or the croakings of wealth against the ascendancy of the people. Thomas Jefferson
Lay down true principles and adhere to them inflexibly. Thomas Jefferson
To detail the real evils of aristocracy, they must be seen in Europe. Thomas Jefferson
Wealth, title, office, are no recommendations to my friendship. On the contrary, great good qualities are requisite to make amends for their having wealth, title, and office. Thomas Jefferson
There is also an artificial aristocracy founded on wealth and birth, without either virtue or talents;... The artificial aristocracy is a mischievous ingredient in government, and provision should be made to prevent its ascendancy. Thomas Jefferson
A heavy aristocracy and corruption are two bridles in the mouths of a people which will prevent them from making any effectual efforts against their masters. Thomas Jefferson
When the principle that force is right is become the principle of the nation itself, they would not permit an honest minister, were accident to bring such a one into power, to relax their system of lawless piracy. Thomas Jefferson
With the laborers of England generally, does not the moral coercion of want subject their will as despotically to that of their employer, as the physical constraint does the soldier, the seaman, or the slave? Thomas Jefferson
Either force or corruption has been the principle of every modern government. Thomas Jefferson
Whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force Thomas Jefferson
I was in Europe when the Constitution was planned, and never saw it till after it was established. On receiving it, I wrote strongly to Mr. Madison, urging the want of provision for... an express reservation to the States of all rights not specifically granted to the Union Thomas Jefferson
The purpose of a written constitution is to bind up the several branches of government by certain laws, which, when they transgress, their acts shall become nullities; to render unnecessary an appeal to the people, or in other words a rebellion, on every infraction of their rights, on the peril that their acquiescence shall be construed into an intention to surrender those rights. Thomas Jefferson
I feel much alarmed at the prospect of seeing General Jackson President. He is one of the most unfit men I know of for such a place. He has had very little respect for laws and constitutions, and is, in fact, an able military chief. His passions are terrible. Thomas Jefferson
I can say conscientiously that I do not know in the world a man of purer integrity, more dispassionate, disinterested, and devoted to genuine Republicanism; nor could I in the whole scope of America and Europe point out an abler head. Thomas Jefferson
I have ever deemed it fundamental for the United States never to take active part in the quarrels of Europe. Their political interests are entirely distinct from ours. Their mutual jealousies, their balance of power, their complicated alliances, their forms and principles of government, are all foreign to us. They are nations of eternal war. Thomas Jefferson
The Virginia model, meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew, and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan, the Hindoo, and Infidel of every denomination. Thomas Jefferson
Nursed and educated in the daily habit of seeing the degraded condition, both bodily and mental, of these unfortunate beings [slaves], few minds have yet doubted that they were as legitimate subjects of property as their horses or cattle Thomas Jefferson
Ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition. Thomas Jefferson
No one more sincerely wishes the spread of information among mankind than I do, and none has greater confidence in its effect upwards, supporting free and good government. Thomas Jefferson
Health is worth more than learning Thomas Jefferson
I was sitting by Dr. Franklin who perceived that I was not insensitive to these mutilations. Thomas Jefferson
The tender breasts of women were not made for political convulsions. Thomas Jefferson
Will Doctor Franklin be so good as to peruse it and suggest such alterations as his more enlarged view of the subject will dictate? 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 circle of our felicities. Thomas Jefferson
... health, without which there is no happiness. An attention to health then should take place of every other object. Thomas Jefferson
[Describing slavery:] ... a cruel war against human nature itself. Thomas Jefferson
Beyond a doubt there are enough maples to produce sugar adequate to the consumption of every American and some Europeans too …. Attention to sugar orchards is essentially necessary to the independence of our country. Thomas Jefferson
I am sincerely mortified to be thus brought forward on the public stage against my love of silence … and my abhorrence of dispute. Thomas Jefferson
The foundation on which all are built is the natural equality of man, the denial of every pre-eminence but that annexed to legal office and particularly the denial of a pre-eminence by birth. Thomas Jefferson
All authority belongs to the people. Thomas Jefferson
All eyes are opened or opening to the rights of man. 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 … Thomas Jefferson
An individual thinking himself injured, makes more noise than a State. Thomas Jefferson
Any act of the Congress of the United States... which assumes powers... not delegated by the Constitution, is not law, but is altogether void and of no force Thomas Jefferson
As, for the safety of society, we commit honest maniacs to Bedlam, so judges should be withdrawn from the bench, whose erroneous biases are leading us to dissolution. Thomas Jefferson
Bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression. Thomas Jefferson
Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. Thomas Jefferson
Both of our political parties, at least the honest portion of them, agree conscientiously in the same object: the public good; but they differ essentially in what they deem the means of promoting that good. One side believes it best done by one composition of the governing powers, the other by a different one. One fears most the ignorance of the people; the other the selfishness of rulers independent of them. Which is right, time and experience will prove. We think that one side of this experiment has been long enough tried and proved not to promote the good of the many, and that the other has not been fairly and sufficiently tried. Our opponents think the reverse. With whichever opinion the body of the nation concurs, that must prevail. Thomas Jefferson
Christianity neither is, nor ever was, part of the common law. Thomas Jefferson
During this course of administration, and in order to disturb it, the artillery of the press has been leveled against us, charged with whatsoever its licentiousness could devise or dare. These abuses of an institution so important to freedom and science are deeply to be regretted, inasmuch as they tend to lessen its usefulness and to sap its safety. Thomas Jefferson
Educate and inform the mass of the people. Enable them to see that it is their interest to preserve peace and order, and they will preserve them. Thomas Jefferson
Go about absolutely incognito. You must ferret the people out of their hovels as I have done, look into their kettles, eat their bread, loll in their beds under pretense of resting yourself, but in fact to find out if they are soft. You will find a more sublime pleasure … when you shall be able to apply your knowledge to the softening of their beds and the throwing a morsel of meat into their kettles …. Thomas Jefferson
I can scarcely contemplate a more incalculable evil than the breaking of the Union into two or more parts. Thomas Jefferson
I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of the country. Thomas Jefferson
I shall often go wrong through defect of judgment. When right, I shall often be thought wrong by those whose positions will not command a view of the whole ground. I ask your indulgence for my own errors, which will never be intentional, and your support against the errors of others, who may condemn what they would not if seen in all its parts. Thomas Jefferson
I sincerely wish we could see our government so secured as to depend less on the character of the person in whose hands it is trusted. Bad men will sometimes get in and with such an immense patronage may make great progress in corrupting the public mind and principles. Thomas Jefferson
In an absolute government there can be no... equiponderant parties. The despot is the government. Thomas Jefferson
In appointments to office the government refuses to know any difference between descriptions of republicans… Thomas Jefferson
In public life, a man whose political principles have any decided character and who has energy enough to give them effect must always expect to encounter political hostility from those of adverse principles. Thomas Jefferson
It [is] inconsistent with the principles of civil liberty, and contrary to the natural rights of the other members of the society, that any body of men therein should have authority to enlarge their own powers, prerogatives or emoluments without restraint. Thomas Jefferson
It appears that there have been differences of opinion and party differences, from the first establishment of government to the present day, and on the same question which now divides our own country; that these will continue through all future time; that every one takes his side in favor of the many, or of the few, according to his constitution Thomas Jefferson
It is the steady abuse of power in other governments which renders that of opposition always the popular party. Thomas Jefferson
It would not be for the public good to have greater than two to one Thomas Jefferson
Laws provide against injury from others, but not from ourselves. Thomas Jefferson
Let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson
Like religious differences, a difference in politics should never be permitted to enter into social intercourse or to disturb its friendships, its charities or justice. Thomas Jefferson
Men have differed in opinion and been divided into parties by these opinions from the first origin of societies, and in all governments where they have been permitted freely to think and to speak. The same political parties which now agitate the U.S. have existed through all time. Thomas Jefferson
Men of energy of character must have enemies… Thomas Jefferson
Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry. Thomas Jefferson
Revenue on the consumption of foreign articles is paid chiefly by those who can afford to add foreign luxuries to domestic comforts, being collected on our seaboard and frontiers only. Thomas Jefferson
Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question. Thomas Jefferson
The delusion of the people is necessary to the dominant party. I see the extent to which that delusion has been already carried, and I see there is no length to which it may not be pushed by a party in possession of the revenues and the legal authorities of the United States Thomas Jefferson
The division into Whig and Tory is founded in the nature of men; the weakly and nerveless, the rich and the corrupt, seeing more safety and accessibility in a strong executive; the healthy, firm, and virtuous, feeling confidence in their physical and moral resources, and willing to part with only so much power as is necessary for their good government; and, therefore, to retain the rest in the hands of the many… Thomas Jefferson
The division of Whig and Tory... is the most salutary of all divisions and ought, therefore, to be fostered instead of being amalgamated; for take away this, and some more dangerous principle of division will take its place. Thomas Jefferson
The firmness with which the people have withstood the late abuses of the press, the discernment they have manifested between truth and falsehood, show that they may safely be trusted to hear everything true and false, and to form a correct judgment between them. Thomas Jefferson
The great object of my fear is the federal judiciary. That body, like gravity, ever acting, with noiseless foot, and unalarming advance, gaining ground step by step, and holding what it gains, is engulfing insidiously the special movements into the jaws of that which feeds them. Thomas Jefferson
The greatest good we can do our country is to heal its party divisions and make them one people. Thomas Jefferson
The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them, inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors. Thomas Jefferson
The people of every country are the only safe guardians of their own rights, and are the only instruments which can be used for their destruction. Thomas Jefferson
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
The selfish spirit of commerce which knows no country, and feels no passion or principle but that of gain. Thomas Jefferson
The suppression of unnecessary offices, of useless establishments and expenses, enabled us to discontinue our internal taxes. These, covering our land with officers and opening our doors to their intrusions, had already begun that process of domiciliary vexation which once entered is scarcely to be restrained from reaching successively every article of property and produce. Thomas Jefferson
Though written constitutions may be violated in moments of passion or delusion, yet they furnish a text to which those who are watchful may again rally and recall the people. They fix, too, for the people the principles of their political creed. Thomas Jefferson
To promote this disposition to exchange lands which they [the Indians] have to spare and we want, for necessaries which we have to spare and they want, we shall push our trading houses, and be glad to see the good and influential individuals among them in debt; because we observe that when these debts get beyond what the individuals can pay, they become willing to lop them off by a cession of lands. Thomas Jefferson
Tobacco is a culture productive of infinite wretchedness. Thomas Jefferson
Unless the mass retains sufficient control over those entrusted with the powers of their government, these will be perverted to their own oppression, and to the perpetuation of wealth and power in the individuals and their families selected for the trust. Whether our Constitution has hit on the exact degree of control necessary, is yet under experiment. Thomas Jefferson
We must have the Floridas and Cuba. Thomas Jefferson
We must train and classify the whole of our male citizens, and make military instruction a regular part of collegiate education. Thomas Jefferson
When angry, count to ten before you speak; if very angry, an hundred. Thomas Jefferson
Wherever there are men, there will be parties; and wherever there are free men they will make themselves heard. Those of firm health and spirits are unwilling to cede more of their liberty than is necessary to preserve order; those of feeble constitutions will wish to see one strong arm able to protect them from the many. These are the Whigs and Tories of nature… Thomas Jefferson
You have not been mistaken in supposing my views and feeling to be in favor of the abolition of war. Thomas Jefferson
[It is] cruel to continue by violence an union made at first by mutual love, but now dissolved by hatred. The end of marriage vs propagation & happiness. Where [there] can be neither, it should be dissolved. Thomas Jefferson
We can surely boast of having set the world a beautiful example of a government reformed by reason alone, without bloodshed. Thomas Jefferson
A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth ... and what no just government should refuse, or rest upon inferences. Thomas Jefferson
A great deal of small change is useful in a state, and tends to reduce the price of small articles. Thomas Jefferson
A little rebellion now and then is a good thing.... Unsuccessful rebellions indeed generally establish the encroachment on the rights of people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governments so mild in their punishment of rebellion so as not to discourage them too much. Thomas Jefferson
A nation united can never be conquered. Thomas Jefferson
… a people occupied as we are in opening rivers, digging navigable canals, making roads Thomas Jefferson
A professorship of theology should have no place in our institution. Thomas Jefferson
… a sewer with all the depravity of the human race. Thomas Jefferson
A splendid misery. Thomas Jefferson
A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self preservation, of saving the country when in danger, are of higher obligation. Thomas Jefferson
A tax laid on the willing only. Thomas Jefferson
... a tissue of machinations against the liberties of the country. Thomas Jefferson
A Vote For Every Man, Whether He Owns Property Or Not Thomas Jefferson
All know the influence of interest on the mind of man, and how unconsciously his judgement is warped by that influence. Thomas Jefferson
An elective despotism [i.e. of the Congress] was not the government we fought for; but one which should not only be founded on free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among several bodies of magistracy as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others. Thomas Jefferson
An equal application of law to every condition of man is fundamental Thomas Jefferson
Punish the first insult: because an insult unpunished is the parent of many others. Thomas Jefferson
The appellation of Aristocrats and Democrats is the true one expressing the essence of all [political] parties. Thomas Jefferson
As the Executive cannot decide the question of war on the affirmative side, neither ought it do so on the negative side by preventing the competent body [Congress] from deliberating on the question. Thomas Jefferson
as to fix the moment that the embryo becomes an animal. Thomas Jefferson
As we double our numbers ... we must double our houses. Thomas Jefferson
Whenever you do a thing, tho' 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
Said Aldermen shall forwith proceed to have a schoolhouse built ... and shall see that the same be kept in repair.... At everyone of these schools shall be taught reading, writing, and common arithmetic, and the books which shall be used herein for instructing the children to read shall be such as will at the same time make them acquainted with Grecian, Roman, English and American history. Thomas Jefferson
I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson
Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish within yourself the habit of silence, especially in politics. Thomas Jefferson
[Describing the White House:] Big enough for two emperors, one Pope and the Grand Lama. Thomas Jefferson
Blest is that nation whose silent course of happiness furnishes nothing for history to say. Thomas Jefferson
Government, as well as religion, has furnished its schisms, its persecutions, and its devices for fattening idleness on the earnings of the people. It has its hierarchy of emperors, kings, princes, and nobles, as that has of popes, cardinals, archbishops, bishops, and priests. In short, cannibals are not to be found in the wilds of America only, but are reveling on the blood of every living people. Thomas Jefferson
Congress is the great commanding theater of this nation, and the threshold to whatever department of office a man is qualified to enter. Thomas Jefferson
Conscience is known to be adequate in individuals; in large numbers little is to be expected of it. Thomas Jefferson
Debt and revolution are inseparable as cause and effect. Thomas Jefferson
My observations do not enable me to say I think integrity the characteristic of wealth ... The decisions of the people in a body, will be more honest and more disinterested than those of wealthy men. Thomas Jefferson
Dependence begets subservience and venality. Thomas Jefferson
Difference of opinion is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a censor morum over each other. Thomas Jefferson
Empire for Liberty Thomas Jefferson
Empire of Liberty Thomas Jefferson
Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. 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
Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. Thomas Jefferson
Exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and ... tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise. 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
Find the shortest & most convenient route of communications between the U. S. & the Pacific Ocean. Thomas Jefferson
Force cannot change right. Thomas Jefferson
Agriculture, manufactures, commerce and navigation, the four pillars of our prosperity, are the most thriving when left most free to individual enterprise. Thomas Jefferson
[Commenting on Shays' Rebellion:] The way to prevent these regular interpositions of the people is to give them full information of their affairs thro' the channel of the public papers, and to contrive that those papers should penetrate the whole mass of the people. Thomas Jefferson
Laws provide against injury from others. God himself will not save men against their wills. Thomas Jefferson
Government, as will as religion, has furnished its schisms, its persecutions, and its devices for fattening idleness on the earnings of the people. Thomas Jefferson
Great Britain's governing principles are conquest, colonialization, commerce, monopoly. Thomas Jefferson
... having myself made it a rule never to engage in a lottery or any other adventure of mere chance, I can, with the less candor or effect, urge it on others, however laudable or desirable its object may be. Thomas Jefferson
He [Marquis de Lafayette] has a canine appetite for popularity and fame. Thomas Jefferson
I feel much alarmed at the prospect of seeing General [Andrew] Jackson President. He is one of the most unfit men I know for such a place. Thomas Jefferson
He [John Adams] is vain, irritable, and a bad calculator of the force and probable effect of the motives which govern men. That is all the ill that can be said of him. Thomas Jefferson
My great wish is to go on in strict but silent performance of my duty: to avoid attracting notice and to keep my name out of newspapers, because I find the pain of a little censure, even when unfounded, is more acute than the pleasure of much praise. Thomas Jefferson
Health is the first requisite after morality. Thomas Jefferson
Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom & Father of the University of Virginia Thomas Jefferson
History I believe furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. Thomas Jefferson
History, in general, only informs us what bad government is. Thomas Jefferson
My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy. Thomas Jefferson
I ... think public service and private misery inseparably linked together. Thomas Jefferson
I am an enthusiast on the subject of the arts. Thomas Jefferson
I am dogged and watched in the most extraordinary manner. Thomas Jefferson
I am for freedom of religion, & against all maneuvres to bring about the legal ascendency of one sect over another. Thomas Jefferson
I am no longer fit for these times. We are in a new era to which I do not belong. Thomas Jefferson
I am not afraid of new inventions. Thomas Jefferson
I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know. Thomas Jefferson
I believe in the dreams of the future more than the history of the past. Thomas Jefferson
I believe the Indian then to be in body and mind equal to that of the whiteman. Thomas Jefferson
I believe the Indian then to be in body and mind equal to the white man. Thomas Jefferson
I deplore with you, the putrid state into which our newspapers have passed, and the malignity, the vulgarity, and mendacious spirit of those who write for them.... As vehicles of information, and a curb on our functionaries, they have rendered themselves useless, by forfeiting all title to belief. Thomas Jefferson
I find the pain of a little censure, even when it is unfounded, is more acute than the pleasure of much praise. Thomas Jefferson
I have felt so much for you that I cannot withhold the expression of my sympathies …. All you can do is to order,—that execution must depend on others Thomas Jefferson
I have here [at the White House] company enough, part secretly hostile and a constant succession of strangers. Thomas Jefferson
I have not observed men's honesty to increase with their riches. Thomas Jefferson
They [the clergy] believe that any power confided in me will be executed in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly. For I have sworn on the alter of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. Thomas Jefferson
I hope every good citizen will never again purchase any article of foreign manufacture which can be had of American make be the difference in price what it may. Thomas Jefferson
I intend to withdraw after my second term. General Washington set the example. I will follow. Thomas Jefferson
I know it will give great offense to the clergy, but the advocate of religious freedom is to expect neither peace nor forgiveness from them. Thomas Jefferson
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 by education. Thomas Jefferson
I never told my own religion nor scrutinized that of another. I never attempted to make a convert, nor wished to change another's creed. I am satisfied that yours must be an excellent religion to have produced a life of such exemplary virtue and correctness. For it is in our lives, and not from our words, that our religion must be judged. Thomas Jefferson
I never knew an instance of the English parliament's undertaking to relieve the poor, by a distribution of bread in time of scarcity.... I think, that according to the principles of their government, they would only vote a sum of money, and address the King to employ it for the best. Thomas Jefferson
I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance, or admit a right in inquiry into the religious opinions of others. Thomas Jefferson
From forty years' experience of the wretched guess-work of the newspapers of what is not done in the open daylight, and of their falsehood even as to that, I rarely think them worth reading, and almost never worth notice. Thomas Jefferson
I see nothing in the mode of proceeding by impeachment but the most formidable weapon for the purpose of dominant faction that was ever contrived. It would be the most effectual one of getting rid of any man whom they may consider as dangerous to their views. Thomas Jefferson
I succeed him. No one can replace him. Thomas Jefferson
I was not insensitive to these mutilations. Thomas Jefferson
I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it. Thomas Jefferson
Few die and none resign. If a due participation of office is a matter of right, how are vacancies to be obtained? Those by death are few; those by resignation, none. Can any other mode that of removal be proposed? This is a painful office, but it is my duty and I meet it as such. Thomas Jefferson
I am sensible that there are defects in our federal government, yet they are so much lighter than those of monarchies, that I view them with much indulgence. I rely, too, on the good sense of the people for remedy, whereas the evils of monarchical government are beyond remedy. If any of our countrymen wish for a King, give them Aesop's fable of the frogs who asked a King; if this does not cure them, send them to Europe. They will go back good republicans. Thomas Jefferson
If anything could revolt our citizens against the war, it would be the extravagance with which they are about to be taxed …. Thomas Jefferson
If anything pass in a religious meeting seditiously and contrary to the public peace, let it be punished in the same manner and no otherwise than as if it had happened in a fair or market. Thomas Jefferson
If his wife perseveres, she must eat her soup at home. Thomas Jefferson
I have never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, philosophy, in politics, or in any thing else where I was capable of thinking for myself. If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all. Thomas Jefferson
Half a loaf is better than no bread. If we cannot secure all our rights, let us secure what we can. Thomas Jefferson
From the dissensions among Sects themselves arise necessarily a right of choosing and necessity of deliberating to which we will conform. But if we choose for ourselves, we must allow others to choose also, and so reciprocally, this establishes religious liberty. Thomas Jefferson
Impeachment is a bungling way to remove judges. Thomas Jefferson
In all your intercourse with the natives, treat them in the most friendly and conciliatory manner which their own conduct will admit. Thomas Jefferson
It results from our having such quantities of land to waste as we please. In Europe the object is to make the most of their land, labour being abundant: here it is to make the most of our labour, land being abundant Thomas Jefferson
In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own. Thomas Jefferson
In the full tide of successful experiment. Thomas Jefferson
[Federal judges] consider themselves secure for life; they skulk from responsibility to public opinion.... A judiciary independent of a king or executive alone is a good thing; but independence of the will of the nation is a solecism, at least in a republican government. Thomas Jefferson
Instead of an aristocracy of wealth, of more harm and danger than benefit, to society, and scattered with equal hand throughout all its conditions. Thomas Jefferson
Is he honest? Is he capable? Is he faithful to the Constitution? Thomas Jefferson
Is uniformity of opinion desirable? No more than of face and stature. Thomas Jefferson
It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others; or as their case, by change of circumstances, become his own …give no example of concession betraying the common right of independent opinion. Thomas Jefferson
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
It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty Gods, or no God. Thomas Jefferson
It is a breach of order in debate to notice what has been said on the same subject in the other House, or the particular votes or majorities on it there, because the opinion of each house should be left to its own independency, not to be influenced by the proceedings of the other; and the quoting them might beget reflections leading to a misunderstanding between the two Houses. Thomas Jefferson
It is a duty of those entrusted with the administration of their affairs to conform themselves to the decided choice of their constituents. Thomas Jefferson
It is certainly for the public good to keep all the banks competitors for our favors by a judicious distribution of them and thus to engage the individuals who belong to them in support of the reformed order of things or at least in an acquiescence under it. Thomas Jefferson
It is impossible not to look forward to distant times when our rapid multiplication will expand … and cover the whole northern if not the southern continent. 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
It is not be consolidation, or concentration of powers, but by their distribution, that good government is effected. Thomas Jefferson
[Jews have] a particular need, evidently greater than that of any others, to pay more careful attention to education. Thomas Jefferson
Juries are not qualified to judge questions of law, but they are very capable of judging questions of fact. Thomas Jefferson
An equal division of property is impracticable. But the consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property. Thomas Jefferson
... let no more be heard of confidence in men, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson
Let us then, dear friends, forever bow down to the general reason of society. Thomas Jefferson
My children, persevere in your friendship to the United States. We will never injure you nor permit you to be injured by any white people, and we trust that you will take care that none of our people are injured by yours. Encourage among you the cultivation of the earth, raising of cattle, spinning and weaving, and we will assist you in it. With plenty of food and clothing you will raise many children, multiply, be strong and happy. May the Great Spirit protect and prosper you in all your just pursuits. Farewell. Thomas Jefferson
… the most superlatively ridiculous thing Thomas Jefferson
Nature has given to our black brethren talents equal to those of any other color of men; and that the appearance of the want of them is owing merely to the degraded condition of their existence. Thomas Jefferson
No duty ... was so trying as to put the right man in the right place. Thomas Jefferson
No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. Thomas Jefferson
No government ought to be without censors: & where the press is free, no one ever will. Thomas Jefferson
No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another. Thomas Jefferson
No man in the U. S. I suppose, approved of every title in the constitution. Thomas Jefferson
BE it enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or Ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities. Thomas Jefferson
No man will ever bring out of the Presidency the reputation which carries him into it. Thomas Jefferson
No man will labour for himself who can make another labour for him. Thomas Jefferson
No nation is drunken where wine is cheap; and none sober where the dearness of wine substitutes ardent spirits as the common beverage. It is, in truth, the only antidote to the bane of whiskey. Thomas Jefferson
No person shall be admitted as a citizen who holds any heredity title. Thomas Jefferson
No precedence ... of anyone over another, exists in right or practice, at dinners, assemblies, or any other occasions. 'Pell-mell' and 'next the door' for the basis of etiquette in the societies of this country. Thomas Jefferson
No society can make a perpetual constitution or even a perpetual law. Thomas Jefferson
Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that political vehicle. Thomas Jefferson
Of all the cankers of human happiness, none corrodes with so silent, yet so baneful a tooth as indolence. Thomas Jefferson
On great occasions every good officer must be ready to risk himself in going beyond the strict line of the law, when the public preservation requires it; his motives will be a justification. Thomas Jefferson
He [the President] may be reelected from four years to four years for life …. Once in office, and possessing the military force of the union, without either the aid or check of a council, he would not be easily dethroned. Thomas Jefferson
Nineteen years is the term beyond which neither the representatives of a nation nor even the whole nation itself assembled can validly extend a debt ... one generation is to another as one independent nation to another. Thomas Jefferson
One Hundred and Seventy Three Despots would surely be as oppressive as one. Thomas Jefferson
One precedent in favor of power is stronger than a hundred against it. Thomas Jefferson
Opinion is power. Thomas Jefferson
Our ancestors who migrated hither were laborers, not lawyers. 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, for man is an imitative animal. Thomas Jefferson
Our confederacy must be viewed as the nest from which all America, North or South, is to be peopled … speaking the same language, governed in similar forms, and by similar laws. Thomas Jefferson
Our first and fundamental maxim should never to entangle ourselves in the broils of Europe. Thomas Jefferson
Our judges are as honest as other men and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps. Thomas Jefferson
Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations,—entangling alliances with none. Thomas Jefferson
Politics is such a torment that I would advise everyone I love not to mix with it. Thomas Jefferson
Politics, like religion, hold up torches of martyrdom to the reformers of error. Thomas Jefferson
Preach ... a crusade against against ignorance; establish and improve the law for educating the common people. .... The tax that will be paid for this purpose is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles, who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance. Thomas Jefferson
The way to make friends quarrel is to pit them in disputation under the public eye ... public assemblies where every one is free to speak and act, are the most powerful looseners of the hands of private friendship. Thomas Jefferson
Public employment contributes neither to advantage nor to happiness. It is but honorary exile from ones family and affairs. Thomas Jefferson
Reason is the only umpire between just nations. Thomas Jefferson
... a saucer into which the nation's passions may be poured to cool. Thomas Jefferson
Science has liberated the ideas of those that read and reflect ... Science is progressive. Thomas Jefferson
Science is my passion; politics, my duty. Thomas Jefferson
Put that [news]paper in your pocket, Baron, and should you hear the reality of our liberty, the freedom of the press questioned, show them this paper, and tell them where you found it. Thomas Jefferson
We have the wolf by the ears, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other. Thomas Jefferson
Some apprehend danger from the defection of Massachusetts. It is a disagreeable circumstance, but not a dangerous one. If they become neutral, we are sufficient for one enemy [the British] without them, and in fact we get no aid from them now. Thomas Jefferson
Some men are born for the public. Nature by fitting them for the service on a broad scale, has stamped them with the evidence of her destination and their duty. Thomas Jefferson
Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence and deem them, like the arc of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. Thomas Jefferson
Stop the few from rioting on the labors of the many. Thomas Jefferson
[When abroad:] Examine [politics] influence on the happiness of the people: take every possibility of entering into the hovels of the labourers ... see what they eat, how they are cloathed, whether they are obliged to labour too hard; whether the government or their landlord takes from them an unjust proportion of their labour. Thomas Jefferson
Take the commerce of the states out of the hands of the states and place it under the superintendence of Congress. Thomas Jefferson
Talents & science are sufficient motives with me in appointments to which they are fitted. Thomas Jefferson
That government is best which governs least. Thomas Jefferson
That I should lay down my charge at a proper period is as much a duty as to have borne it faithfully. Thomas Jefferson
That one hundred and fifty lawyers should do business together ought not to be expected. Thomas Jefferson
The acquisition of Canada this year … will be a mere matter of marching and will give us experience for the attack on Halifax the next, and the final expulsion of England from the American continent. Thomas Jefferson
The appointment of a woman to office is an innovation for which the public is not prepared, nor am I. Thomas Jefferson
The appointment of a woman to office is an innovation for which the public is not prepared, nor am I. Thomas Jefferson
The banks have discontinued themselves. We are now without any medium … necessity, as well as patriotism and confidence will make us all eager to receive Treasury notes if founded on specific taxes. Congress may now borrow of the public, and without interest, all the money they may want … by merely issuing their own promissory notes …. Thomas Jefferson
The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. Thomas Jefferson
The common law existed while the Anglo-Saxons were yet pagans, at a time when they had never yet heard the name of Christ pronounced or that such a character existed. Thomas Jefferson
... assertions that Christianity is a part of the common law. The proof of the contrary ... is incontrovertible; to wit, that the common law existed while the Anglo-Saxons were yet pagans, at a time when they had never heard the name of Christ pronounced, or knew that such a character existed. Thomas Jefferson
The Constitution of the United States [is] the result of the collected wisdom of our country. Thomas Jefferson
The dignity and stability of government in all its branches, the morals of the people, and every blessing of society, depends so much upon an upright and skillful administration of justice that the judicial power ought to be distinct from both the legislature and the executive, and independent upon both that so it may be a check upon both, as both should be checks upon that. Thomas Jefferson
The earth always belongs to the living. Thomas Jefferson
The earth belongs in usufruct to the living. Thomas Jefferson
The earth is given as a common stock for man to labour and live on. If for the encouragement of industry we allow it to be appropriated, we must take care that other employment to those excluded from the appropriation. Thomas Jefferson
[These appointments] laid me under the embarrassment of acting thro' men whose views were to defeat mine; or to encounter the odium of putting others in their place. Thomas Jefferson
I hope no American patriot will ever lose sight of the essential policy of interdicting in the seas and territories of both Americas the ferocious and sanguinary contests of Europe. Thomas Jefferson
The execution of the laws is more important than the making them. Thomas Jefferson
Experience concurs with reason in concluding that the first magistrate [President] will always be re-elected if the constitution permits it. He is then an officer for life. Thomas Jefferson
I am persuaded myself that the good sense of the people will always be found to be the best army. Thomas Jefferson
The great object of my fear is the Federal Judiciary. That body, like gravity, ever acting, with noiseless foot, and alarming advance..., is engulfing insidiously the special governments [the States] into the jaws of that which feeds them. Thomas Jefferson
[Characterizing Napoleon Bonaparte:] The greatest of destroyers of the human race. Thomas Jefferson
The sickly, weakly, timid man fears the people and is a Tory [conservative] by nature. The healthy, strong and bold, cherishes them, and is formed a Whig [liberal] by nature. Thomas Jefferson
I observe that the House of Representatives are sensible of the ill effects of the long speeches in their house on their proceedings. But they have a worse effect in the disgust they excite among the people, and the disposition they are producing to transfer their confidence from the legislature to the executive branch, which would soon sap our Constitution. These speeches, therefore, are less and less read, and if continued, will cease to be read at all. Thomas Jefferson
The introduction of so powerful an agent as steam will make a great change in the situation of man. Thomas Jefferson
The judiciary of the United States is the subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working underground to undermine the foundations of our confederated fabric. Thomas Jefferson
The King, long in the habit of drowning his cares in wine, plunges deeper and deeper; the Queen cries out but, but sins on. Thomas Jefferson
The legitimate acts of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. Thomas Jefferson
... the loathsome combination of church and state. Thomas Jefferson
The majority of the men in the State [Virginia] who pay and fight for its support, are unrepresented in the legislature, the roll of freeholders entitled to vote not including generally the half of those on the role of the militia, or of the taxgatherers. Thomas Jefferson
The mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God. Thomas Jefferson
The mobs of great cities add just so much to the support of pure government as sores do to the strength of the human body. Thomas Jefferson
The moment Napoleon takes possession of New Orleans, we must marry ourselves to the British fleet and nation. Thomas Jefferson
The most sacred of the duties of a government [is] to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens. Thomas Jefferson
The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and for government to gain ground. Thomas Jefferson
In truth, the parties of Whig [Liberal] and Tory [Conservative] are those of nature. They exist in all countries, whether called by these names, or by those of Aristocrats and Democrats, Cote Droite and Cote Gauche, Ultras and Radicals, Serviles, and Liberals. Thomas Jefferson
The President being the only channel of communication between this country and foreign nations, it is from him alone that foreign nations or their agents are to learn what is or has been the will of the nation.... Thomas Jefferson
The President’s own Thomas Jefferson
The priests of the different religious sects ... dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight, and scowl on the fatal harbinger announcing the subdivision of the duperies on which they live. Thomas Jefferson
The public will never be made to believe that an appointment of a relative is ever made on the ground of merit alone, uninfluenced by family views; nor can they ever see with approbation offices, the disposal of which they entrust to their Presidents for public purposes, divided out as family property. Mr. [John] Adams degraded himself infinitely by his conduct on this subject, as General Washington had done himself the highest honor. Thomas Jefferson
The purse of the people is the real seat of sensibility. Thomas Jefferson
I have some fears for our South American brethren; the qualifications for self-government are not innate. They are the result of habit and long training, and for these they will require time and probably much suffering. Thomas Jefferson
The rights of human nature are deeply wounded by this infamous practice. Thomas Jefferson
The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the dispensation of public moneys. Thomas Jefferson
The second office of the government is honorable & easy; the first is but a splendid misery. Thomas Jefferson
The security appeared so great that I wish for one sincerely, to travel in, as instead of 10 days, I should be within 5 hours of home. Thomas Jefferson
The sheep are happier of themselves than under the care of the wolves. Thomas Jefferson
The small land holders are the most precious part of a state. Thomas Jefferson
The steady character of our countrymen is a rock to which we may safely moor. Thomas Jefferson
The storm through we have passed has been tremendous indeed. The tough sides of our Argosie have been thoroughly tried. Her strength has stood the waves into which she was steered, with a view to sink her. We shall put her on her republican tack, & she will now show by the beauty of her motion the skill of her builders. Thomas Jefferson
The treachery of [General William] Hull, like that of [Benedict] Arnold, cannot be a matter of blame for our government. Thomas Jefferson
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure. Thomas Jefferson
The tyranny of the legislature is really the danger most to be feared.... The tyranny of the executive power will come in its turn, but at a more distant period. Thomas Jefferson
The tyranny of the legislatures is the most formidable dread at present, and will be for many years. That of the executive will come in turn; but it will be at a remote period. Thomas Jefferson
The unsuccessful strugglers against tyranny have been the chief martyrs of treason laws in all countries. Thomas Jefferson
No, my friend, the way to have good and safe government, is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many. Thomas Jefferson
There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talent. Thomas Jefferson
There is not a single crowned head in Europe whose talents or merits would entitle him to be elected a vestryman by the people of any parish in America. Thomas Jefferson
There is not a sprig of grass that grows uninteresting to me. Thomas Jefferson
There is on the globe one single spot the possessor of which is the natural enemy of the United States—New Orleans. Thomas Jefferson
There is on the globe one single spot, the possessor of which is our natural and habitual enemy. It is New Orleans through which the produce of three eighths of our territory must pass. Thomas Jefferson
There never was a time when the services of those who possess talents, integrity, firmness, and sound judgment, were more wanted in Congress. Thomas Jefferson
There would never have been an infidel had there never been a priest. Thomas Jefferson
I never heard either of them speak ten minutes at a time, nor to any but the main point which was to decide the question. They laid their shoulders to the great points, knowing that the little ones would follow of themselves. Thomas Jefferson
They shall forever be a part of the United States. Thomas Jefferson
This business of removing Judges by impeachment is a bungling way. Thomas Jefferson
This I hope will be the age of experiment in government. Thomas Jefferson
Even under the best forms [of government], those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny ... the most effectual means of preventing this would be to illuminate ... the minds of the people at large. Thomas Jefferson
Those societies (as the Indians) which live without government enjoy in their general mass an infinitely greater degree of happiness. Thomas Jefferson
Those who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God, if ever He had a chosen people, whose breasts He has made His peculiar deposit for substantial and genuine virtue. Thomas Jefferson
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. Thomas Jefferson
... timid men who prefer the calm of despotism to the boisterous sea of liberty. Thomas Jefferson
To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical; that even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness Thomas Jefferson
To give liberty to, or rather, to abandon persons whose habits have been formed in slavery is like abandoning children. Thomas Jefferson
When forced, therefore, to resort to arms for redress, an appeal to the tribunal of the world was deemed proper for our justification. This was the object of the Declaration of Independence. Not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject; in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we were compelled to take, neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it was intended to be an expression of the American mind, and to give to that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion. Thomas Jefferson
To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. Thomas Jefferson
To unequal privileges among members of the same society the spirit of our nation is, with one accord, adverse. Thomas Jefferson
two centuries behind ours; their literati, half a dozen years before us. Thomas Jefferson
I think it fortunate for the United States to have become the asylum for so many virtuous patriots of different denominations. Thomas Jefferson
Was ever such a prize won with so little innocent blood? Thomas Jefferson
We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans; we are all Federalists. Thomas Jefferson
We are truly to be pitied. Thomas Jefferson
We consider the interests of Cuba, Mexico and ours as the same, and that the object of both must be to exclude all European influence from this hemisphere. Thomas Jefferson
We especially ought to pray that the powers of Europe be so poised and counterpoised among themselves that their own security may require the presence of all their forces at home leaving the other parts of the world in undisturbed tranquility. Thomas Jefferson
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
We may lessen the danger of buying and selling votes, by making the number of voters too great for any means of purchase. Thomas Jefferson
It is nonsense to talk of regulars [enlisted army troops.] They are not to be had among a people so easy and happy at home as ours. We might as well rely on calling down an army of angels from heaven. Thomas Jefferson
We must 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
We must now place the manufacturer by the side of the agriculturist. Thomas Jefferson
These claims [to then Spanish Florida] will be a subject of negotiation with Spain, and if, as soon as she is at war, we push them strongly with one hand, holding our a price in the other, we shall certainly obtain the Floridas, and all in good time. Thomas Jefferson
If there be one principle more deeply rooted than any other in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest. Thomas Jefferson
The basis of our government's 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 without a government, I should not hesitate for a moment to prefer the latter. Thomas Jefferson
Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread. Thomas Jefferson
What could be the reason that so many should be permitted to beg who are willing to work? Thomas Jefferson
Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. Thomas Jefferson
Whatever their degree of talent it is no measure of their rights. Thomas Jefferson
When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property. Thomas Jefferson
When any one state in the American union refuses obedience to the Confederation, by which they have bound themselves, the rest have a natural right to compel them to obedience. Thomas Jefferson
When brought together in society all are perfectly equal, whether foreign or domestic, titled or untitled, in or out of office. Thomas Jefferson
When I embarked in the government, it was with a determination to intermeddle not at all with the legislature. Thomas Jefferson
Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on them [public offices], a rottenness begins in his conduct. Thomas Jefferson
Without health there is no happiness. An attention to health, then, should take the place of every other object. Thomas Jefferson
would make you know and be known by to characters of influence in the affairs of our country …. You would be one of my family. Thomas Jefferson
I would say to every nation on earth, by treaty, your people shall trade freely with us, and ours with you ... Thomas Jefferson
A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the highest duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of a high obligation.... To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law, would be to lose the law itself ... absurdly sacrificing the end to the means. Thomas Jefferson
[Intellectual property] cannot, in nature, be a subject of property. He who receivers an idea from me, receives instructions from me without lessening mine, as; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. Thomas Jefferson
... not likely to be read if left alone, but, if persecuted, it will be generally read. Every man in the United States will think it a duty to buy a copy, in vindication of his right to buy, and read what he pleases. Thomas Jefferson
All eyes, all hopes are fixed on you; and were you to decline, the chagrin would be universal. [Monroe went to France.] Thomas Jefferson
I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and Constitutions. Thomas Jefferson
I view great cities as pestilential to the morals, the health and the liberties of man. Thomas Jefferson
I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our constitution ... an additional article, taking from the federal government the power of borrowing. Thomas Jefferson
Our maxim of that day [1776] was "where annual election ends, tyranny begins. Thomas Jefferson
The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and ingrafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man. Thomas Jefferson
The constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please. Thomas Jefferson
The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture. Thomas Jefferson
The hocus-pocus phantasy of a God, like another Cerberus, with one body and three heads, had its birth and growth in the blood of thousands and thousands of martyrs. Thomas Jefferson
The maxim of buying nothing without the money in our pocket to pay for it, would make our country one of the happiest upon earth. Thomas Jefferson
The small land holders are the most precious part of a state. Thomas Jefferson
We are bound, you and I, and every one, to make common cause, even with error itself, to maintain the common right of freedom of conscience. Thomas Jefferson
We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him as a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors. Thomas Jefferson
Liberty... is the great parent of science Thomas Jefferson
I may err in my measures, but never shall deflect from the intention to fortify the public liberty by every possible means, and to put it out of the power of the few to riot on the labors of the many. Thomas Jefferson
No one has a right to obstruct another exercising his faculties innocently for the relief of sensibilities made a part of his nature. Thomas Jefferson
No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him. Thomas Jefferson
The ground of liberty is to be gained by inches, and we must be contented to secure what we can get from time to time and eternally press forward for what is yet to get. Thomas Jefferson
Every man, and every body of men on earth, possesses the right of self-government... Thomas Jefferson
Laws abridging the natural right of the citizen should be restrained by rigorous constructions within their narrowest limits. Thomas Jefferson
Industry, commerce and security are the surest roads to the happiness and prosperity of people Thomas Jefferson
The freedom and happiness of man... are the sole objects of all legitimate government Thomas Jefferson
Liberty … is to go to all, and not to the few or the rich alone. Thomas Jefferson
It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all. Thomas Jefferson
It is the obligation of every government to yield protection to their citizens as the consideration for their obedience Thomas Jefferson
The spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless. A single zealot may commence persecutor, and better men be his victims. It can never be too often repeated that the time for fixing every essential right on a legal basis is while our rulers are honest and ourselves united. Thomas Jefferson
Circumstances sometimes require, that rights the most unquestionable should be advanced with delicacy. Thomas Jefferson
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
Law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual. Thomas Jefferson
Nothing... is unchangeable but the inherent and unalienable rights of man. Thomas Jefferson
The Declaration of Independence... is the declaratory charter of our rights, and of the rights of man Thomas Jefferson
Some other natural rights... have not yet entered into any declaration of rights. Thomas Jefferson
What is true of every member of the society, individually, is true of them all collectively; since the rights of the whole can be no more than the sum of the rights of the individuals. Thomas Jefferson
All men are born free, every one comes into the world with a right to his own person, which includes the liberty of moving and using it at his own will. This is what is called personal liberty Thomas Jefferson
A free people claim their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate. Thomas Jefferson
Man is a rational animal, endowed by nature with rights and with an innate sense of justice. Thomas Jefferson
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
When great evils happen, I am in the habit of looking out for what good may arise from them … Thomas Jefferson
In truth, I do not recollect in all the animal kingdom a single species but man which is eternally and systematically engaged in the destruction of its own species. Thomas Jefferson
There are various ways of keeping truth out of sight. Thomas Jefferson
I do not believe with the Rochefoucaults and the Montaignes that fourteen out of fifteen men are rogues. I believe a great abatement from that proportion may be made in favor of general honesty. Thomas Jefferson
The nation who has never admitted a chapter of morality into her political code,... will boldly avow that whatever power she can make hers is hers of right Thomas Jefferson
Cannibals are not to be found in the wilds of America only, but are reveling on the blood of every living people Thomas Jefferson
Mankind soon learn to make interested uses of every right and power which they possess, or may assume. Thomas Jefferson
What institution is insusceptible of abuse in wicked hands? Thomas Jefferson
In every government on earth is some trace of human weakness, some germ of corruption and degeneracy, which cunning will discover, and wickedness insensibly open, cultivate and improve. Thomas Jefferson
I fear … that morals do not of necessity advance hand in hand with the sciences. Thomas Jefferson
A regard for reputation and the judgment of the world may sometimes be felt where conscience is dormant. Thomas Jefferson
I know but one code of morality for man whether acting singly or collectively. He who says I will be a rogue when I act in company with a hundred others, but an honest man when I act alone, will be believed in the former assertion, but not in the latter. Thomas Jefferson
That every man shall be made virtuous by any process whatever is, indeed, no more to be expected than that every tree shall be made to bear fruit, and every plant nourishment. Thomas Jefferson
The compulsions of the law seem to have been provided for those only who require compulsions Thomas Jefferson
No nation can answer for perfect exactitude of proceedings in all their inferior courts. It suffices to provide a supreme judicature where all error and partiality will be ultimately corrected Thomas Jefferson
The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Thomas Jefferson
Inventions... cannot, in nature, be a subject of property. Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from anybody... The exclusive right to invention is given not of natural right, but for the benefit of society Thomas Jefferson
The power given to Congress by the Constitution does not extend to the internal regulation of the commerce of a State (that is to say, of the commerce between citizen and citizen) which remain exclusively with its own legislature, but to its external commerce only; that is to say, its commerce with another State, or with foreign nations, or with the Indian tribes. Thomas Jefferson
The spirit of manufacture has taken deep root among us, and its foundations are laid in too great expense to be abandoned. Thomas Jefferson
While we have land to labor, let us never wish to see our citizens occupied at a workbench or twirling a distaff. Carpenters, masons, smiths, are wanting in husbandry; but for the general operations of manufacture, let our workshops remain in Europe. Thomas Jefferson
The commercial cities... are as different in sentiment and character from the country people as any two distinct nations, and are clamorous against the order of things established by the agricultural interest. Thomas Jefferson
To remove as much as possible the occasions of making war, it might be better for us to abandon the ocean altogether, that being the element whereon we shall be principally exposed to jostle with other nations Thomas Jefferson
The wealth acquired by speculation and plunder, is fugacious in its nature, and fills society with the spirit of gambling. Thomas Jefferson
The foundation on which all our State constitutions are built is the natural equality of man, the denial of every pre-eminence but that annexed to legal office and particularly the denial of a pre-eminence by birth Thomas Jefferson
All know the influence of interest on the mind of man, and how unconsciously his judgment is warped by that influence. Thomas Jefferson
A government is republican in proportion as every member composing it has his equal voice in the direction of its concerns: not indeed in person, which would be impracticable beyond the limits of a city or small township, but by representatives chosen by himself and responsible to him at short periods. Thomas Jefferson
The commotions that have taken place in America, as far as they are yet known to me, offer nothing threatening. They are a proof that the people have liberty enough, and I could not wish them less than they have. If the happiness of the mass of the people can be secured at the expense of a little tempest now and then, or even of a little blood, it will be a precious purchase. Thomas Jefferson
[I am rescuing] the Philosophy of Jesus and the pure principles which he taught, from the artificial vestments in which they have been muffled by priests, who have travestied them into various forms as instruments of riches and power for themselves. Thomas Jefferson
A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen Thomas Jefferson
Among our Indian neighbors, also, a spirit of peace and friendship generally prevailing and I am happy to inform you that the continued efforts to introduce among them the implements and the practice of husbandry, and of the household arts, have not been without success; that they are becoming more and more sensible of the superiority of this dependence for clothing and subsistence over the precarious resources of hunting and fishing; and already we are able to announce, that instead of that constant diminution of their numbers, produced by their wars and their wants, some of them begin to experience an increase of population. Thomas Jefferson
For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security Thomas Jefferson
I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. Thomas Jefferson
I have ever considered the constitutional mode of election ultimately by the Legislature voting by States as the most dangerous blot in our Constitution, and one which some unlucky chance will some day hit and give us a pope and antipope. Thomas Jefferson
Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern, which have come under my observation, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus Thomas Jefferson
Our Indian neighbors are advancing, many of them with spirit, and others beginning to engage in the pursuits of agriculture and household manufacture. They are becoming sensible that the earth yields subsistence with less labor and more certainty than the forest. Thomas Jefferson
Complaints have been received that persons residing within the United States have taken on themselves to arm merchant vessels and to force a commerce into certain ports and countries in defiance of the laws of those countries. That individuals should undertake to wage private war, independently of the authority of their country, can not be permitted in a well-ordered society. Thomas Jefferson
Another important acquisition of territory has also been made since the last session of Congress. The friendly tribe of Kaskaskia Indians with which we have never had a difference, reduced by the wars and wants of savage life to a few individuals unable to defend themselves against the neighboring tribes, has transferred its country to the United States, reserving only for its members what is sufficient to maintain them in an agricultural way Thomas Jefferson
We look forward to the necessity of coercion … Thomas Jefferson
When we consider that this government is charged with the external and mutual relations only of these states; that the states themselves have principal care of our persons, our property, and our reputation, constituting the great field of human concerns, we may well doubt whether our organization is not too complicated, too expensive; whether offices or officers have not been multiplied unnecessarily, and sometimes injuriously to the service they were meant to promote. Thomas Jefferson
Gentlemen: The Lands of the Missouri River and the Indians inhabiting them are not as well known as they should be…. Thomas Jefferson
I am not a Federalist because I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatsoever Thomas Jefferson
It appears to me one of those questions which present great inconveniences whichever way it is decided. Thomas Jefferson
It claims no merit of particular beauty. It is plain, neat, convenient, and taking no more room than a moderate 4to. Volume, it yet displays itself sufficiently for any writing. It’s imaginary value will increase with the years …. Thomas Jefferson
Politics as well as religion has its superstitions. These gaining strength with time, may, one day, give imaginary value to this relic, for its association with the great Charter of our Independence…. carried in the procession of our nation’s birthday, as the relics of the Saints are in those of the Church. Thomas Jefferson
The right to decide what laws are constitutional, and what not, would make the judiciary a despotic branch. Thomas Jefferson
Since the invention of gunpowder has armed the weak as well as the strong with missile death, bodily strength, like beauty, good humor, politeness and other accomplishments, has become but an auxiliary ground of distinction. Thomas Jefferson
He is, at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the Works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation Thomas Jefferson
Patrick Henry has an avaricious heart. Devoutly pray for his death. Thomas Jefferson
Peace and harmony with all nations is our sincere wish; but such being the lot of humanity that nations will not always reciprocate peaceable dispositions, it is our firm belief that effectual measures of defense will tend to inspire that national self-respect and confidence at home which is the unfailing source of respectability abroad, to check aggression and prevent war. Thomas Jefferson
The President seems a bad edition of a Polish King Thomas Jefferson
I was once a doubter whether the labor of the cultivator, aided by the creative powers of the earth itself, would not produce more than that of the manufacturer alone, and unassisted by the dead subject on which he acted ... But the invention of the latter times, by labor saving machines, do as much now for the manufacturer as the earth does for the cultivator... Thomas Jefferson
We must now place the manufacturer beside the agriculturalist... The grand inquiry now is, shall we manufacture our own comforts, or go without them at the will of a foreign nation. He, therefore, who is now against domestic manufacturers must be for reducing us to dependence on that nation, or to be clothed in skins and live like wild beasts in dens and caverns. I am proud to say I am not one of these. Thomas Jefferson
Polypotamia – Cheronesus -- Pelispia Thomas Jefferson
That Indian swamp in the wilderness… Thomas Jefferson
I have no ambition to govern men. It is a thankless office. Thomas Jefferson
Grateful acknowledgments are due to my fellow citizens generally, whose support has been my great encouragement under all embarrassments. In the transaction of their business I cannot have escaped error. It is incident to our imperfect nature. But I may say with truth, my errors have been of the understanding, not of intention; and that the advancement of their rights and interests has been the constant motive for every measure. On these considerations I solicit their indulgence. Thomas Jefferson
With our Indian neighbors the public peace has been steadily maintained. Some instances of individual wrong have, as at other times, taken place, but in nowise implicating the will of the nation. Beyond the Mississippi, the Iowas, the Sacs, and the Alabamas, have delivered up for trial and punishment individuals from among themselves accused of murdering citizens of the United States. On this side of the Mississippi, the Creeks are exerting themselves to arrest offenders of the same kind; and the Choctaws have manifested their readiness and desire for amicable and just arrangements respecting depredations committed by disorderly persons of their tribe. And, generally, from a conviction that we consider them as part of ourselves, and cherish with sincerity their rights and interests, the attachment of the Indian tribes is gaining strength daily -- is extending from the nearer to the more remote, and will amply requite us for the justice and friendship practiced towards them Thomas Jefferson
This candid and liberal experiment having thus failed … Thomas Jefferson
Those countries cannot be in better hands, my fear is that the Spaniards are too feeble to hold them till our population can be sufficiently advanced to gain it from them piece by piece. Thomas Jefferson
The motives pleading for war rather than tribute are numerous and honorable, those opposing them, mean and shortsighted. Thomas Jefferson
Repel force by force Thomas Jefferson
If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of everyone. Thomas Jefferson
Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than on opinions in physics or geometry. Thomas Jefferson
I think it is in our interest to punish the first insult; because the first insult is the parent of many others. Thomas Jefferson
Those who come after us will... fill up the canvas we begin. Thomas Jefferson
Amplification is the vice of modern oratory. Thomas Jefferson
Speeches measured by the hour, die by the hour. Thomas Jefferson
[Sometimes] the minorities are too respectable, not to be entitled to some sacrifice of opinion, in the majority. Thomas Jefferson
… industry, commerce and security are the surest roads to the happiness and prosperity of people. Thomas Jefferson
… liberty which is to go to all, and not to the few or the rich alone Thomas Jefferson
A geographical division... is a most fatal of all divisions, as no authority will submit to be governed by a majority acting merely on a geographical principle. Thomas Jefferson
Difference of opinion leads to enquiry, and enquiry to truth. Thomas Jefferson
Error is the stuff of which the web of life is woven, and he who lives longest and wisest is only able to weave out the more of it. Thomas Jefferson
Great innovations should not be forced on a slender majority Thomas Jefferson
I know no safe depositary 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 by education. Thomas Jefferson
If a book be false in its facts, disprove them; if false in its reasoning, refute it. But for God's sake, let us freely hear both sides if we choose. Thomas Jefferson
It is the multitude which possess force, and wisdom must yield to that. Thomas Jefferson
Man [is] a rational animal, endowed by nature with rights and with an innate sense of justice. Thomas Jefferson
Men, according to their constitutions and the circumstances in which they are placed, differ honestly in opinion. Thomas Jefferson
On no question can a perfect unanimity be hoped. Thomas Jefferson
The freedom and happiness of man... [are] the sole objects of all legitimate government. Thomas Jefferson
The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time. Thomas Jefferson
The only orthodox object of the institution of government is to secure the greatest degree of happiness possible to the general mass of those associated under it. Thomas Jefferson
The people of [a] country [who have] never been in the habit of self-government [will] not [be] in the habit of acknowledging that fundamental law of nature by which alone self-government can be exercised by a society, I mean the lex majoris partis. Of the sacredness of this law, our countrymen are impressed from their cradle so that with them it is almost innate. This single circumstance may possibly decide the fate of [a country.] Thomas Jefferson
The will of the people... is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object Thomas Jefferson
There was but a single act of my whole administration of which [the opposing] party approved... And when I found they approved of it, I confess I began strongly to apprehend I had done wrong, and to exclaim with the Psalmist, 'Lord, what have I done that the wicked should praise me?' Thomas Jefferson
This... [is] a country where the will of the majority is the law, and ought to be the law Thomas Jefferson
We cannot always do what is absolutely best. Those with whom we act, entertaining different views, have the power and the right of carrying them into practice Thomas Jefferson
If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. Thomas Jefferson
I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson
I have ever been the enemy of banks. My zeal against these institutions was so warm … that I was derided as a maniac by the tribe of bank mongers who filch from the public their swindling and barren gains. Thomas Jefferson
Immense sums were filched from the poor and ignorant. Thomas Jefferson
… the peaceful turn of events Thomas Jefferson
Banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a monied aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power (of money) should be taken away from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs Thomas Jefferson
The generation which commences a revolution can rarely complete it Thomas Jefferson
The spirit of ’76 is not dead, It has only been slumbering. The body of the American people is substantially republican .  But their virtuous feelings have been played on by some fact with more fiction; they have been the dupes of artful maneuvers, & made for a moment to be willing instruments in forging chains for themselves. Thomas Jefferson
In place of that noble love of liberty and republican government which carried us triumphantly thro’ the war, an Anglican, monarchical and aristocratical party has sprung up, whose avowed object is to draw over us the substance as they have already done the forms of the British government. The main body of our citizens however remain true to their republican principles, the whole landed interest is with them, and so is a great mass of talents. Against us are the Executive, the Judiciary, two out of three branches of the legislature, all of the officers of the government, all who want to be officers, all timid men who prefer the calm of despotism to the boisterous sea of liberty, British merchants and Americans trading on British capitals, speculators and holders in the banks and public funds a contrivance invented for the purposes of corruption and for assimilating us in all things, to the rotten as well as the sound parts of the British model. Thomas Jefferson
To back away from France would be to undermine the cause of republicanism in America Thomas Jefferson
When I contemplate the immense advances in sciences and discoveries in the arts which have been made within the period of my life, I look forward with confidence to equal advances by the present generation, and have no doubt they will consequently be as much wiser than we have been as we than our fathers were, and they than the burners of witches Thomas Jefferson
I may challenge the whole orations of Demosthenes and Cicero, and of any more eminent orator, if Europe has furnished more eminent, to produce a single passage superior to the speech of Logan Thomas Jefferson
The Capitol Thomas Jefferson
First: to encourage them to abandon hunting, to apply to the raising stock, to agriculture and domestic manufacture, and thereby prove to themselves that less land and labor will maintain them in this, better than in their former mode of living. The extensive forests necessary in the hunting life, will then become useless, and they will see advantage in exchanging them for the means of improving their farms, and of increasing their domestic comforts. Secondly: to multiply trading houses among them, and place within their reach those things which will contribute more to their domestic comfort, than the possession of extensive, but uncultivated wilds. Experience and reflection will develop to them the wisdom of exchanging what they can spare and we want, for what we can spare and they want. In leading them to agriculture, to manufactures, and civilization; in bringing together their and our settlements, and in preparing them ultimately to participate in the benefits of our governments. Thomas Jefferson
All tongue, without either head or heart.’ Thomas Jefferson
The Cherokees, the only tribe I know to be contemplating the establishment of regular laws, magistrates, and government, propose a government of representatives, elected from every town. But of all things, they least think of subjecting themselves to the will of one man. Thomas Jefferson
A distinction is kept up between the civil and military which it is for the happiness of both to obliterate. Thomas Jefferson
In taking a view of the state of our country we in the first place notice the late affliction of two of our cities under the fatal fever which in latter times has occasionally visited our shores. Providence in His goodness gave it an early termination on this occasion and lessened the number of victims which have usually fallen before it. In the course of the several visitations by this disease it has appeared that it is strictly local, incident to cities and on the tide waters only, incommunicable in the country either by persons under the disease or by goods carried from diseased places; that its access is with the autumn and it disappears with the early frosts. Thomas Jefferson
One precedent in favor of power is stronger than an hundred against it Thomas Jefferson
On every unauthoritative exercise of power by the legislature must the people rise in rebellion or their silence be construed into a surrender of that power to them? If so, how many rebellions should we have had already? Thomas Jefferson
In the arguments in favor of a declaration of rights... one which has great weight with me is the legal check which it puts into the hands of the judiciary Thomas Jefferson
No person shall be restrained of his liberty but by regular process from a court of justice, authorized by a general law... On complaint of an unlawful imprisonment, to any judge whatsoever, he shall have the prisoner immediately brought before him, and shall discharge him if his imprisonment be unlawful. The officer in whose custody the prisoner is shall obey the order of the judge, and both judge and officer shall be responsible civilly and criminally for a failure of duty herein Thomas Jefferson
Printers shall be liable to legal prosecution for printing and publishing false facts injurious to the party prosecuting: but they shall be under no other restraint. Thomas Jefferson
I do not like... the omission of a bill of rights providing clearly and without the aid of sophisms for freedom of religion, freedom of the press, protection against standing armies, restriction against monopolies, the eternal and unremitting force of the habeas corpus laws, and trials by jury in all matters of fact triable by the laws of the land …. A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular; and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inferences Thomas Jefferson
I have a right to nothing which another has a right to take away Thomas Jefferson
The interests of commerce place the principal object within the constitutional powers and care of Congress, and that it should incidentally advance the geographical knowledge of our own continent, can not but be an additional gratification Thomas Jefferson
Although the power to regulate commerce does not give a power to build piers, wharves, open ports, clear the beds of rivers, dig canals, build warehouses, build manufacturing machines, set up manufactories, cultivate the earth, to all of which the power would go if it went to the first, yet a power to provide and maintain a navy is a power to provide receptacles for it, and places to cover and preserve it Thomas Jefferson
Congress are authorized to defend the nation. Ships are necessary for defense; copper is necessary for ships; mines necessary for copper; a company necessary to work mines; and who can doubt this reasoning who has ever played at 'This is the House that Jack built?' Under such a process of filiation of necessities the sweeping clause makes clean work Thomas Jefferson
No government has a legitimate right to do what is not for the welfare of the governed. Thomas Jefferson
They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. Thomas Jefferson
Aided by a little sophistry on the words "general welfare," the federal government claims a right to do not only the acts to effect that which are specifically enumerated and permitted, but whatsoever they shall think or pretend will be for the general welfare. Thomas Jefferson
The laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. Thomas Jefferson
The government will certainly decide for itself on whose counsel they will settle the construction of the laws they are to execute. We are to look at the intention of the Legislature, and to carry it into execution while the lawyers are nibbling at the words of the law. Thomas Jefferson
One single object... will merit the endless gratitude of society: that of restraining the judges from usurping legislation Thomas Jefferson
In giving to the President and Senate a power to make treaties, the Constitution meant only to authorize them to carry into effect, by way of treaty, any powers they might constitutionally exercise Thomas Jefferson
It is a maxim of our municipal law, and, I believe, of universal law, that he who permits the end, permits of course the means, without which the end cannot be effected Thomas Jefferson
It is not honorable to take a mere legal advantage, when it happens to be contrary to justice Thomas Jefferson
Where a phrase is susceptible of two meanings, we ought certainly to adopt that which will bring upon us the fewest inconveniences Thomas Jefferson
Whenever the words of a law will bear two meanings, one of which will give effect to the law, and the other will defeat it, the former must be supposed to have been intended by the Legislature, because they could not intend that meaning, which would defeat their intention, in passing that law; and in a statute, as in a will, the intention of the party is to be sought after Thomas Jefferson
Common sense is the foundation of all authorities, of the laws themselves, and of their construction Thomas Jefferson
An act of the Congress of the United States... which assumes powers... not delegated by the Constitution, is not law, but is altogether void and of no force Thomas Jefferson
We considered the Alien and Sedition Acts as so palpably against the Constitution as to amount to an undisguised declaration that that compact is not meant to be the measure of the powers of the General Government, but that it will proceed in the exercise over these States of all powers whatsoever... We view this as seizing the rights of the States and consolidating them in the hands of the General Government Thomas Jefferson
It is inconsistent with the principles of civil liberty, and contrary to the natural rights of the other members of the society, that any body of men therein should have authority to enlarge their own powers, prerogatives or emoluments without restraint Thomas Jefferson
The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others Thomas Jefferson
It would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights... Confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism. Free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence. It is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited constitutions, to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power... Our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no further, our confidence may go... In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution Thomas Jefferson
Unless the mass retains sufficient control over those entrusted with the powers of their government, these will be perverted to their own oppression, and to the perpetuation of wealth and power in the individuals and their families selected for the trust. Whether our Constitution has hit on the exact degree of control necessary, is yet under experiment Thomas Jefferson
I apprehend... that the total abandonment of the principle of rotation in the offices of President and Senator will end in abuse Thomas Jefferson
Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure. Thomas Jefferson
The basis of our constitution is in opposition to the principle of equal political rights if it refuses to all but freeholders any participation in the natural right of self-government... And even among our citizens who participate in the representative privilege, the equality of political rights is entirely prostrated by our constitution... if it gives to every citizen of one county as much weight in the government as to twenty-two equal citizens in another.. If these fundamental principles are of no importance in actual government, then no principles are important. Thomas Jefferson
The spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless. Thomas Jefferson
To establish republican government, it is necessary to effect a constitution in which the will of the nation shall have an organized control over the actions of its government, and its citizens a regular protection against its oppressions Thomas Jefferson
I am persuaded no Constitution was ever before so well calculated as ours for extensive empire and self-government Thomas Jefferson
Ours is a constitution of government destined to be the primitive and precious model of what is to change the condition of man over the globe. Thomas Jefferson
The authority of the people is a necessary foundation for a constitution Thomas Jefferson
Aware of the tendency of power to degenerate into abuse, the worthies of our country have secured its independence by the establishment of a Constitution and form of government for our nation, calculated to prevent as well as to correct abuse Thomas Jefferson
I am not afraid of new inventions or improvements, nor bigoted to the practices of our forefathers. It is that bigotry which keeps the Indians in a state of barbarism in the midst of the arts and would have kept us in the same state even now Thomas Jefferson
Laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also and keep pace with the times Thomas Jefferson
There is a snail-paced gait for the advance of new ideas on the general mind under which we must acquiesce. A forty years' experience of popular assemblies has taught me that you must give them time for every step you take. If too hard pushed, they balk, and the machine retrogrades. Thomas Jefferson
The functionaries of public power rarely strengthen in their dispositions to abridge it, and an unorganized call for timely amendment is not likely to prevail against an organized opposition to it Thomas Jefferson
Various checks are opposed to every legislative proposition. Factions get possession of the public councils, bribery corrupts them, personal interests lead them astray from the general interests of their constituents; and other impediments arise, so as to prove to every practical man, that a law of limited duration is much more manageable than one which needs a repeal Thomas Jefferson
Can one generation bind another and all others in succession forever? I think not. The Creator has made the earth for the living, not the dead Thomas Jefferson
I set out on this ground which I suppose to be self-evident: 'That the earth belongs in usufruct to the living;' that the dead have neither powers nor rights over it... Thomas Jefferson
It is more honorable to repair a wrong than to persist in it. Thomas Jefferson
I am a friend to the reformation generally of whatever can be made better Thomas Jefferson
Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence and deem them like the ark of the covenant, 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. I knew that age well; I belonged to it and labored with it. Thomas Jefferson
The precept... is wise which directs us to try all things and hold fast that which is good Thomas Jefferson
Our children will be as wise as we are and will establish in the fullness of time those things not yet ripe for establishment Thomas Jefferson
The present generation has the same right of self-government which the past one has exercised for itself. Thomas Jefferson
The example of changing a constitution by assembling the wise men of the State instead of assembling armies will be worth as much to the world as the former examples we had given them Thomas Jefferson
Happy for us that when we find our constitutions defective and insufficient to secure the happiness of our people, we can assemble with all the coolness of philosophers and set it to rights, while every other nation on earth must have recourse to arms to amend or to restore their constitutions Thomas Jefferson
I have found here in America a philosophic revolution, philosophically effected. Thomas Jefferson
We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors Thomas Jefferson
The European monarchs instead of wisely yielding to the gradual change of circumstances, of favoring progressive accommodation to progressive improvement, have clung to old abuses, entrenched themselves behind steady habits and obliged their subjects to seek through blood and violence rash and ruinous innovations which, had they been referred to the peaceful deliberations and collected wisdom of the nation, would have been put into acceptable and salutary forms Thomas Jefferson
Time and changes in the condition and constitution of society may require occasional and corresponding modifications Thomas Jefferson
We have always a right to correct ancient errors and to establish what is more conformable to reason and convenience Thomas Jefferson
Every human essay must have defects. It will remain, therefore, to those now coming on the stage of public affairs, to perfect what has been so well begun by those going off it Thomas Jefferson
To secure the ground we gain, and gain what more we can, is, I think, the wisest course Thomas Jefferson
Every man cannot have his way in all things…Without this mutual disposition, we are disjointed individuals, but not a society Thomas Jefferson
Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written constitution Thomas Jefferson
The purpose of the law is to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahomedan, the Hindoo, and Infidel of every denomination. Thomas Jefferson
The motives pleading for war rather than tribute are numerous and honorable; those opposing them mean and short-sighted Thomas Jefferson
The federal judiciary is an irresponsible body … working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction . . . Thomas Jefferson
Habeas Corpus secures every man here, alien or citizen, against everything that is not law, whatever shape is may assume. Thomas Jefferson
Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property. Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from any body. Thomas Jefferson
... no one possesses the less because everyone possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me receives it without lessening me, as he who lights his candle at mine receives light without darkening me. Thomas Jefferson
It (the proposal to build the Erie Canal) is a splendid project and may be executed a century hence. Thomas Jefferson
[It has become] … a principal ground whereon was reared up that Speculating phalanx. Thomas Jefferson
Whether we remain in one confederacy or form into Atlantic and Mississippi Confederacies I believe not very important to the happiness of either part. Those of the Western Confederacy will be as much our children as those of the Eastern part. Thomas Jefferson
I am conscious that an equal division of property is impracticable, but the consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdivisions go hand in hand with the natural affections of the human mind. The descent of property of every kind therefore to all the children, or to all the brothers and sisters, or other relations in equal degree, is a politic measure and a practicable one. Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions or property in geometric progression as they rise. Thomas Jefferson
…the transmission of…property from generation to generation in the same name raised up a distinct set of families who, being privileged by law in the perpetuation of their wealth were thus formed into a Patrician order. Thomas Jefferson
If we consider games of chance immoral, then every pursuit of human industry is immoral; for there is not a single one that is not subject to chance, not one wherein you do not risk a loss for the chance of some gain... In all these pursuits, you take some one thing against another which you hope to win... These, then, are games of chance. Yet so far from being immoral, they are indispensable to the existence of man, and every one has a natural right to choose for his pursuit such one of them as he thinks most likely to furnish him subsistence. Thomas Jefferson
It is said that our paper [money] is as good as silver, because we may have silver for it at the bank where it issues. This is not true. One, two, or three persons might have it; but a general application would soon exhaust their vaults, and leave a ruinous proportion of their paper in its intrinsic worthless form. Thomas Jefferson
I am in hope that you will find us returned generally to sentiments worthy of former times. In these it will be your glory to have steadily labored, and with as much effect as any man living. Thomas Jefferson
The Alien & Sedition Acts are a nullity as absolute and palpable as if Congress had ordered us to fall down and worship a golden image. Thomas Jefferson
I am a Christian in the only sense in which Jesus wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all others. Thomas Jefferson
In consequence of a division of opinion existing among our fellow-citizens, as to the proper constitution of our political institutions, and of the wisdom and propriety of certain measures which had been adopted by our government, that portion of our citizens who approved and advocated one class of these opinions and measures selected you as their candidate for the Presidency, and their opponents selected me. If you or myself had not been in existence, or for any other cause had not been selected, other persons would have been selected in our places, and thus the contest would have been carried on, and with the same result, except that the party which supported you would have been defeated by a greater majority, as it was known that, but for you, your party would have carried their unpopular measures much further than they did. Thomas Jefferson
The words of Jesus, as distinguishable from the matter in which they are embedded as diamonds in dunghills. A more precious morsel of ethics was never seen. Thomas Jefferson
The Electoral College is the ink blot on the Constitution Thomas Jefferson
… the most bitter and angry contests ever known in Congress Thomas Jefferson
I … shall presently take credit four per cent. per annum, for their [his slaves] increase over and above keeping up their own numbers…. every farthing of it should be laid out in land and negroes, which besides a present support bring a silent profit of from 5. to 10. per cent in this country by the increase in their value. Thomas Jefferson
Some [slaves] require a vigor of discipline to make them do reasonable work. Thomas Jefferson
I love industry and abhor severity Thomas Jefferson
To be independent for the comforts of life, we must fabricate them ourselves Thomas Jefferson
belittle Thomas Jefferson
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 the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government. Thomas Jefferson
We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists Thomas Jefferson
This passed without opposition, and stopped the increase of the evil importation, leaving to future efforts its final eradication. Thomas Jefferson
… an effort for the permission of the emancipation of slaves, which was rejected, and, indeed, during the regal government nothing liberal could expect success. Thomas Jefferson
… at least as brave as the whites and more adventuresome Thomas Jefferson
The hour of emancipation is advancing in the march of time. It will come, and whether brought on by generous energy of our own minds or by the bloody process of St. Domingo... is a leaf of our history not yet turned over. Thomas Jefferson
You know that nobody wishes more ardently to see an abolition not only of the trade, but of the condition of slavery. Thomas Jefferson
What a stupendous, what an incomprehensible machine is man,--who can endure toil, famine, stripes, imprisonment, and death itself, in vindication of his own liberty, and, in the next moment, be deaf to all those motives whose power supported him through his trial, and inflict on his fellow-men a bondage one hour of which is fraught with more misery than ages of that which he rose in rebellion to oppose! Thomas Jefferson
[The fight against slavery] offers the interesting spectacle of justice in conflict with avarice and oppression Thomas Jefferson
He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it's most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. this piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian (underlined) king of Great Britain determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold and he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this, execrable commerce: and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another. Thomas Jefferson
A bill to emancipate all slaves born after the passing of the act. Thomas Jefferson
The Reign of the Witches Thomas Jefferson
I know there are some among us who would now establish a monarchy. But they are inconsiderable in number and weight of character. The rising race are all republicans. We were educated in royalism: no wonder if some of us retain that idolatry still. Our young people are educated in republicanism. An apostasy from that to royalism is unprecedented and impossible. Thomas Jefferson
… the less we use our power the greater it will be. Thomas Jefferson
It is true that we are completely under the saddle of Massachusetts and Connecticut, and that they ride us very hard, cruelly insulting our feelings as well as exhausting our strength and substance. The Yankees are marked with such a perversity of character, that they would always be divided from other Americans. Thomas Jefferson
The end proposed should be their extermination, or their removal beyond the [Great] Lakes. Thomas Jefferson
Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of the day … a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove that a deliberate and systematical plan of reducing us to slavery. Thomas Jefferson
Samuel Adams was truly the man of the Revolution. Thomas Jefferson
The central bank is an institution of the most deadly hostility existing against the Principles and form of our Constitution. Thomas Jefferson
I am an Enemy of all banks discounting bills or notes for anything but coin. Thomas Jefferson
Free Englishmen had independently settled North America in precisely the same their Saxon ancestors … had possessed themselves of the island of Britain. Thomas Jefferson
To preserve the freedom of the human mind then and freedom of the press, every spirit should be ready to devote itself to martyrdom; for as long as we may think as we will, and speak as we think, the condition of man will proceed in improvement. Thomas Jefferson
The juries [are] our judges of all fact, and of law when they choose it. Thomas Jefferson
I have come to a resolution myself as I hope every good citizen will, never again to purchase any article of foreign manufacture which can be had of American make be the difference of price what it may.. Thomas Jefferson
No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. Thomas Jefferson
It would be a good occasion to begin a navy Thomas Jefferson
We ought to begin a naval power, if we mean to carry on our own commerce. Can we begin it on a more honorable occasion or with a weaker foe? Thomas Jefferson
Everyone is getting out of the city [Philadelphia] who can. Thomas Jefferson
I, very early thought it would be best to effect a peace through the medium of war. Thomas Jefferson
The real alternative before us is whether to abandon the Mediterranean or to keep up a cruise in it, perhaps in rotation with other powers who would join as soon as there is peace. But this Congress must decide.. Thomas Jefferson
The circumstance of superior beauty is thought worthy of attention in the propagation of our horses, dogs, and other domestic animals; why not in that of man? Thomas Jefferson
We could create a Virginia cavalry regiment specifically for the sons of planters, youths whose indolence or education, has unfitted them for foot-service. Thomas Jefferson
One might as well make a sailor a cock, or a soldier a goose, as a President of Andrew Jackson. Thomas Jefferson
The man must be a prodigy who can retain his manners and morals undepraved by such circumstances... [Slavery] Thomas Jefferson
I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice can not sleep forever; that considering numbers, nature, and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events; that it may become probable by supernatural interference! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest Thomas Jefferson
After the year 1800 there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of the said states other than in the punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted to have been personally guilty Thomas Jefferson
They are not felons, or common malefactors, but persons guilty of what the safety of society, under actual circumstances, obliges us to treat as a crime, but which their feelings may represent in a far different shape. They are such as will be a valuable acquisition to the settlement already existing there, and well calculated to coöperate in the plan of civilization Thomas Jefferson
Nothing is more to be wished than that the United States would themselves undertake to make such an establishment on the coast of Africa ... But for this the national mind is not yet prepared. It may perhaps be doubted whether many of these people would voluntarily consent to such an exchange of situation, and very certain that few of those advanced to a certain age in habits of slavery, would be capable of self-government. This should not, however, discourage the experiment, nor the early trial of it; and the proposition should be made with all the prudent cautions and attentions requisite to reconcile it to the interests, the safety, and the prejudices of all parties Thomas Jefferson
Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever . . . . Thomas Jefferson
Well aware that the opinions and belief of men depend not on their own will, but follow involuntarily the evidence proposed to their minds; that Almighty God hath created the mind free, and manifested his supreme will that free it shall remain by making it altogether insusceptible of restraint; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments, or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion... Thomas Jefferson
It is usual for the jurors to decide the fact, and to refer the law arising on it to the decision of the judges. But this division of the subject lies with their discretion only. And if the question relate to any point of public liberty, or if it be one of those in which the judges may be suspected of bias, the jury undertake to decide both law and fact. Thomas Jefferson
Apprehension [about the French Revolution] is, that a majority cannot be induced to adopt the trial by jury; and I consider that as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.... Thomas Jefferson
The circumstance of superior beauty is thought worthy of attention in the propagation of our horses, dogs, and other domestic animals; why not in that of man? Thomas Jefferson
I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. Thomas Jefferson
As our enemies have found we can reason like men, so now let us show them we can fight like men also. Thomas Jefferson
One man with courage is a majority. Thomas Jefferson
The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind. Thomas Jefferson
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Thomas Jefferson
Bodily decay is gloomy in prospect, but of all human contemplations the most abhorrent is body without mind. Thomas Jefferson
The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money. Thomas Jefferson
I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. Thomas Jefferson
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
For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security. Thomas Jefferson
There is not a truth existing which I fear... or would wish unknown to the whole world. 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
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
Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe. Thomas Jefferson
History, in general, only informs us of what bad government is. Thomas Jefferson
I think with the Romans, that the general of today should be a soldier tomorrow if necessary. Thomas Jefferson
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
He who knows best knows how little he knows. 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
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
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
War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses. Thomas Jefferson
When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred. Thomas Jefferson
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
One travels more usefully when alone, because he reflects more. Thomas Jefferson
Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. Thomas Jefferson
I believe that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another. Thomas Jefferson
I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind. Thomas Jefferson
I own that I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive. Thomas Jefferson
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
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
The way to silence religious disputes is to take no notice of them. Thomas Jefferson
I have seen enough of one war never to wish to see another. 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 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
Resort is had to ridicule only when reason is against us. Thomas Jefferson
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
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
I sincerely believe... that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson
The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory. Thomas Jefferson
Happiness is not being pained in body or troubled in mind. Thomas Jefferson
I find that he is happiest of whom the world says least, good or bad. Thomas Jefferson
Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty. 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
Truth is certainly a branch of morality and a very important one to society. Thomas Jefferson
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
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
It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. 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
No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden. Thomas Jefferson
Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it. Thomas Jefferson
No government ought to be without censors; and where the press is free no one ever will. Thomas Jefferson
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
A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, 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. Thomas Jefferson
I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it. Thomas Jefferson
To penetrate and dissipate these clouds of darkness, the general mind must be strengthened by education. Thomas Jefferson
No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms. Thomas Jefferson
The good opinion of mankind, like the lever of Archimedes, with the given fulcrum, moves the world. Thomas Jefferson
The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers. Thomas Jefferson
Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day. Thomas Jefferson
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
The natural cause of the human mind is certainly from credulity to skepticism. 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
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
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
Never spend your money before you have earned it. Thomas Jefferson
If God is just, I tremble for my country. Thomas Jefferson
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
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
Taste cannot be controlled by law. Thomas Jefferson
An injured friend is the bitterest of foes. Thomas Jefferson
The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government. Thomas Jefferson
In defense of our persons and properties under actual violation, we took up arms. When that violence shall be removed, when hostilities shall cease on the part of the aggressors, hostilities shall cease on our part also. Thomas Jefferson
Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances. Thomas Jefferson
The earth belongs to the living, not to the dead. Thomas Jefferson
Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far. 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
No duty the Executive had to perform was so trying as to put the right man in the right place. Thomas Jefferson
Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, till you know there is no hook beneath it. Thomas Jefferson
It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness. Thomas Jefferson
Don't talk about what you have done or what you are going to do. Thomas Jefferson
There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents. Thomas Jefferson
Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government. Thomas Jefferson
Here was buried Thomas Jefferson Author of the Declaration of American Independence Of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom & Father of the University of Virginia. Thomas Jefferson
He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors. Thomas Jefferson
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
It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong. Thomas Jefferson
The second office in the government is honorable and easy; the first is but a splendid misery. Thomas Jefferson
Always take hold of things by the smooth handle. Thomas Jefferson
When a man assumes a public trust he should consider himself a public property. Thomas Jefferson
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
Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching. 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
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
Wisdom I know is social. She seeks her fellows. But Beauty is jealous, and illy bears the presence of a rival. 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
We never repent of having eaten too little. Thomas Jefferson
In every country and every age, the priest had been hostile to Liberty. Thomas Jefferson
That government is the strongest of which every man feels himself a part. Thomas Jefferson
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
My only fear is that I may live too long. This would be a subject of dread to me. Thomas Jefferson
When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe. 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
Difference of opinion is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a Censor - over each other. Thomas Jefferson
Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none. Thomas Jefferson
Be polite to all, but intimate with few. Thomas Jefferson
Errors of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. Thomas Jefferson
Money, not morality, is the principle commerce of civilized nations. Thomas Jefferson
It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read. Thomas Jefferson
I have done for my country, and for all mankind, all that I could do, and I now resign my soul, without fear, to my God - my daughter to my country. Thomas Jefferson
We are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a featherbed. Thomas Jefferson
There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me. Thomas Jefferson
I have no ambition to govern men; it is a painful and thankless office. Thomas Jefferson
We did not raise armies for glory or for conquest. 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
An enemy generally says and believes what he wishes. Thomas Jefferson
All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression. Thomas Jefferson
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
Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government. 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 would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it. Thomas Jefferson
The world is indebted for all triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression. Thomas Jefferson
Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail. Thomas Jefferson
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
Power is not alluring to pure minds. Thomas Jefferson
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson
Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto. 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
How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened. 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
Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you. Thomas Jefferson
Politics is such a torment that I advise everyone I love not to mix with it. Thomas Jefferson
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
To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical. Thomas Jefferson
Speeches that are measured by the hour will die with the hour. Thomas Jefferson
The most successful war seldom pays for its losses. Thomas Jefferson
The circumstance of superior beauty is thought worthy of attention in the propagation of our horses, dogs, and other domestic animals; why not that of man? Thomas Jefferson
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