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Thomas Jefferson Quotes - Famous Quotes by Thomas Jefferson


Born: 1743-04-13
Died: 1826-07-04

Thomas Jefferson Biography

...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
***
A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
Advertisements... contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
All authority belongs to the people.
- Thomas Jefferson
More quotations on: [ Authority ]
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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
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An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.
- Thomas Jefferson
More quotations on: [ Bank ]
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Be polite to all, but intimate with few.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Delay is preferable to error.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Democracy is 51% of the people taking away the rights of the other 49%.
- Thomas Jefferson
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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
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Determine never to be idle...It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
Difference of opinion is helpful in religion.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Do not bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook.
- Thomas Jefferson
More quotations on: [ Happiness ]
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Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.
- Thomas Jefferson
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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
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Every man has two countries his own and France.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life.
- Thomas Jefferson
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God forbid we should ever be twenty years without a rebellion.
- Thomas Jefferson
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He is happiest of whom the world says least, good or bad.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Health is worth more than learning.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
- Thomas Jefferson
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How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened.
- Thomas Jefferson
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I am for freedom of religion, & against all maneuvres to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another.
- Thomas Jefferson
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I believe that justice is instinct and innate, the moral sense is as much a part of our constitution as the threat of feeling, seeing and hearing.
- Thomas Jefferson
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I cannot live without books.
- Thomas Jefferson
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I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.
- Thomas Jefferson
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I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
- Thomas Jefferson
More quotations on: [ Work ] [ Effort ] [ Luck ]
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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
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I have no ambition to govern men; it is a painful and thankless office.
- Thomas Jefferson
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I have seen enough of one war never to wish to see another.
- Thomas Jefferson
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I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
I have the consolation of having added nothing to my private fortune during my public service, and of retiring with hands clean as they are empty.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
- Thomas Jefferson
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I live for books.
- Thomas Jefferson
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I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
I read no newspaper now but Ritchie's, and in that chiefly the advertisements, for they contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
I steer my bark with hope in the head, leaving fear astern. My hopes indeed sometimes fail, but not oftener than the forebodings of the gloomy.
- Thomas Jefferson
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I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
If our house be on fire, without inquiring whether it was fired from within or without, we must try to extinguish it.
- Thomas Jefferson
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If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.
- Thomas Jefferson
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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
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In matters of style, swim with the current in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Information is the currency of democracy.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Is it the Fourth?
- Thomas Jefferson
***
It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.
- Thomas Jefferson
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It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read.
- Thomas Jefferson
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It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation, which give happiness.
- Thomas Jefferson
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It is part of the American character to consider nothing as desperate - to surmount every difficulty by resolution and contrivance.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Man is fed with fables through life, and leaves it in the belief he knows something of what has been passing, when in truth he has known nothing but what has passed under his own eye.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
My only fear is that I may live too long. This would be a subject of dread to me.
- 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
***
My views and feelings (are) in favor of the abolition of war--and I hope it is practicable, by improving the mind and morals of society, to lessen the disposition to war; but of its abolition I despair.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
Never buy what you do not want, because it is cheap; it will be dear to you.
- Thomas Jefferson
More quotations on: [ Bargain ]
***
Never enter into dispute or argument with another. I never yet saw an instance of one of two disputants convincing the other by argument. I have seen many on their getting warm, becoming rude and shooting one another.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
Never fear the want of business. A man who qualifies himself well for his calling, never fails of employment.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Never spend your money before you have it.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Never trouble another for what you can do for yourself.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
- Thomas Jefferson
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No government ought to be without censors & where the press is free, no one ever will.
- Thomas Jefferson
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No man will ever bring out of the Presidency the reputation which carries him into it...To myself, personally, it brings nothing but increasing drudgery and daily loss of friends.
- Thomas Jefferson
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No more good must be attempted than the people can bear.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
No nation was ever drunk when wine was cheap.
- 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
***
Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
One man with courage is a majority.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
Our friendships are precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life;and thanks to a benevolent arrangement of things, the greater part is sunshine.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press and that cannot be limited without being lost.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations entangling alliances with none.
- 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
***
Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
Say nothing of my religion. It is known to God and myself alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life if it has been honest and dutiful to society the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence ... too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the governing 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
***
That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
The advertisement is the most truthful part of a newspaper.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers wthout government, I should not hesita
- Thomas Jefferson
***
The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
The bulk of mankind are schoolboys through life.
- 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
***
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
The Greeks by their laws, and the Romans by the spirit of their people, took care to put into the hands of their rulers no such engine of oppression as a standing army. Their system was to make every man a soldier, and oblige him to repair to the standard of his country whenever that was reared. This made them invincible and the same remedy will make us so.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
The happiest moments of my life have a been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family.
- 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
***
The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
The sovereign invigorator of the body is exercise, and of all the exercises walking is the best.
- 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
***
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
The superiority of chocolate (hot chocolate), both for health and nourishment, will soon give it the same preference over tea and coffee in America which it has in Spain. . .
- Thomas Jefferson
***
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
- 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 is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
There is nothing more unequal, than the equal treatment of unequal people.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
This institution will be based upon the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
We confide in our strength, without boasting of it we respect that of others, without fearing it.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable that all men are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
- 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. That to secure these rights, Governments ar
- Thomas Jefferson
***
We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
We never regret having eaten too little.
- 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
***
When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property
- Thomas Jefferson
***
When a man has cast his longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.
- Thomas Jefferson
More quotations on: [ Government ]
***
When angry, count ten before you speak if very angry, an hundred.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends [life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness] it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government...
- Thomas Jefferson
***
Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
Whenever you are to do a thing, though it can never be known but to yourself, ask yourself how you would act were all the world looking at you and act accordingly.
- Thomas Jefferson
***

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