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729 Inspiring Quotes by Thomas Jefferson

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Thomas Jefferson.

Wikipedia Summary for Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809. He had previously served as the second vice president of the United States under John Adams between 1797 and 1801. The principal author of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was a proponent of democracy, republicanism, and individual rights, motivating American colonists to break from the Kingdom of Great Britain and form a new nation; he produced formative documents and decisions at both the state and national levels.

During the American Revolution, Jefferson represented Virginia in the Continental Congress that adopted the Declaration of Independence. As a Virginia legislator, he drafted a state law for religious freedom. He served as the second Governor of Virginia from 1779 to 1781, during the American Revolutionary War. In 1785, Jefferson was appointed the United States Minister to France, and subsequently, the nation's first Secretary of State under President George Washington from 1790 to 1793. Jefferson and James Madison organized the Democratic-Republican Party to oppose the Federalist Party during the formation of the First Party System. With Madison, he anonymously wrote the provocative Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions in 1798 and 1799, which sought to strengthen states' rights by nullifying the federal Alien and Sedition Acts.

As president, Jefferson pursued the nation's shipping and trade interests against Barbary pirates and aggressive British trade policies. Starting in 1803, Jefferson promoted a western expansionist policy, organizing the Louisiana Purchase which doubled the nation's land area. To make room for settlement, Jefferson began a controversial process of Indian tribal removal from the newly acquired territory. As a result of peace negotiations with France, his administration reduced military forces. Jefferson was reelected in 1804. His second term was beset with difficulties at home, including the trial of former vice president Aaron Burr. In 1807, American foreign trade was diminished when Jefferson implemented the Embargo Act in response to British threats to U.S. shipping. The same year, Jefferson signed the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves.

Jefferson, while primarily a planter, lawyer and politician, mastered many disciplines, which ranged from surveying and mathematics to horticulture and mechanics. He was an architect in the classical tradition. Jefferson's keen interest in religion and philosophy led to his presidency of the American Philosophical Society; he shunned organized religion but was influenced by Christianity, Epicureanism, and deism. A philologist, Jefferson knew several languages. He was a prolific letter writer and corresponded with many prominent people, including Edward Carrington, John Taylor of Caroline and James Madison. Among his books is Notes on the State of Virginia (1785), considered perhaps the most important American book published before 1800. Jefferson championed the ideals, values, and teachings of the Enlightenment.

During his lifetime, Jefferson claimed ownership of over 600 slaves, who were kept in his household and on his plantations. Since Jefferson's time, controversy has revolved around his relationship with Sally Hemings, a mixed-race enslaved woman and his late wife's half-sister. According to DNA evidence from surviving descendants and oral history, Jefferson probably fathered at least six children with Hemings, including four that survived to adulthood. Evidence suggests that Jefferson started the relationship with Hemings when they were in Paris, where she arrived at the age of 14, when Jefferson was 44. By the time she returned to the United States at 16, she was pregnant.\n\nAfter retiring from public office, Jefferson founded the University of Virginia. Jefferson and his colleague John Adams both died on Independence Day, July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Presidential scholars and historians generally praise Jefferson's public achievements, including his advocacy of religious freedom and tolerance in Virginia. Although some modern scholars have been critical of his stance on slavery, Jefferson continues to rank highly among the top ten U.S. presidents.

sunset

It is reasonable that everyone who asks justice should do justice.

--Thomas Jefferson

close-up photo of two men shaking hands near beach at sunset

An individual, thinking himself injured, makes more noise than a State.

--Thomas Jefferson

woman signing on white printer paper beside woman about to touch the documents

Excessive taxation ... will carry reason and reflection to every man's door, and particularly in the hour of election.

--Thomas Jefferson

green trees on brown dried leaves during daytime

I don't want them to kill no hog ... I want a man to go to that chair, on his own two feet.

--Thomas Jefferson

shallow focus photography of orange flower

An hereditary aristocracy... will change the form of our governments from the best to the worst in the world.

--Thomas Jefferson

girl and boy figurines

I am not myself apt to be alarmed at innovations recommended by reason. That dread belongs to those whose interests or prejudices shrink from the advance of truth and science.

--Thomas Jefferson


blue and white abstract painting

A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. It is not an article for 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


pink flowers in vase

For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security.

--Thomas Jefferson

sunset forest

When tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes duty.

--Thomas Jefferson


man sitting on concrete brick with opened laptop on his lap

There is no justification for taking away individuals' freedom in the guise of public safety.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette of man

There is a debt of service due from every man to his country, proportioned to the bounties which nature and fortune have measured to him.

--Thomas Jefferson

black textile on white background

The foundation on which (our government is) 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

gray wooden house on green plains near mountain range at daytime

The darker the berry, the sweeter the juice.

--Thomas Jefferson

Bryce Canyon National Park Sunrise Point at Utah

Health, learning and virtue will ensure your happiness; they will give
you a quiet conscience, private esteem and public honour.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette photography of wavy ocean

The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and in-grafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man.

--Thomas Jefferson


silhouette of mountains under blue sky during daytime

Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, till you know there is no hook beneath it.

--Thomas Jefferson



girl and boy figurines

If virtuous, the government need not fear the fair operation of attack and defense. Nature has given to man no other means of sifting the truth, either in religion, law, or politics.

--Thomas Jefferson

brown wooden board

The concentrating of powers in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government. It will be no alleviation that these powers will be exercised by a plurality of hands, and not by a single one.

--Thomas Jefferson

sunflower field under white sky during daytime

Free men do not ask permission to bear arms.

--Thomas Jefferson


smiling woman

I believe in good luck, and the harder I work and the more I believe in myself, the luckier I get.

--Thomas Jefferson

man in orange jacket and black pants doing snow ski during daytime

God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.

--Thomas Jefferson

Longer Version:

God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion... We have had thirteen States independent for eleven years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half, for each State. What country before ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion.


mountain summit during sunset

Great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities.

--Thomas Jefferson

green plants beside brown wooden door

Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free.

--Thomas Jefferson

Longer Version:

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.


assorted books on wooden table

Whiskey claims to itself alone the exclusive office of sot-making.

--Thomas Jefferson

purple and black skies

It is in the love of one's family only that heartfelt happiness is known.

--Thomas Jefferson

red rose

Where thought is free in its range, we need never fear to hazard what is good in itself.

--Thomas Jefferson


pink and white roses on white surface

Man is not made for the State but the State for man and it derives its just powers only from the consent of the governed.

--Thomas Jefferson

grey hlalway

It is a misnomer to call a government republican in which a branch of the supreme power is independent of the nation.

--Thomas Jefferson

black fishes

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

white tulips with green leaves

And, in general, that branch which is to act ultimately and without appeal on any law is the rightful expositor of the validity of the law, uncontrolled by the opinions of the other coordinate authorities.

--Thomas Jefferson

man holding smartphone in close up photography

If thinking men would have the courage to think for themselves, and to speak what they think, it would be found they do not differ in religious opinions as much as is supposed.

--Thomas Jefferson


brown wooden hanging bridge surrounded by green trees during daytime

I join you therefore in branding as cowardly the idea that the human mind is incapable of further advances.

--Thomas Jefferson

yellow and red color textile

When habit has strengthened our sense of duties, they leave us no time for other things; but when young we neglect them and this gives us time for anything.

--Thomas Jefferson

pink and red flowers

For Heaven's sake discard the monstrous wig which makes the English judges look like rats peeping through bunches of oakum.

--Thomas Jefferson

full moon in the sky

An elective despotism was not the government we fought for.

--Thomas Jefferson

Longer Version:

An elective despotism was not the government we fought for, but one which should not only be founded on true free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among general bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.


empty gray floor beside pool

He who is permitted by law to have no property of his own, can with difficulty conceive that property is founded in anything but force.

--Thomas Jefferson

fine trees waving

The rational and peaceable instrument of reform, the suffrage of the people.

--Thomas Jefferson


flame illustration

The earth belongs always to the living generation.

--Thomas Jefferson

blue rose

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

brown desert under sunny sky

The several states composing the United States of America are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government.

--Thomas Jefferson

black textile on white textile

Every people may establish what form of government they please, and change it as they please, the will of the nation being the only thing essential.

--Thomas Jefferson

white oriental lily flower

Never trust a man who won't accept that there is more than one way to spell a word Paraphrased.

--Thomas Jefferson


brown grass field during daytime

Friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life.

--Thomas Jefferson

person using laptop computer

The eyes of our citizens are not sufficiently open to the true cause of our distress. They ascribe them to everything but their true cause, the banking system.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette of flower during sunset

I would observe to you that what is called style in writing or speaking is formed very early in life while the imagination is warm, and impressions are permanent.

--Thomas Jefferson

panoramic photography of mountains

All persons shall have full and free liberty of religious opinion; nor shall any be compelled to frequent or maintain any religious institution.

--Thomas Jefferson

white oriental lily flower

Man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous..

--Thomas Jefferson

a woman sits on the end of a dock during daytime staring across a lake

I look to the diffusion of light and education as the resource most to be relied on for ameliorating the condition, promoting the virtue and advancing the happiness of man.

--Thomas Jefferson

green palm tree during daytime

It is to them I look, to the rising generation, and not to the one now in power, for these great reformations i.e., emancipation of slaves and settlement of the Virginia constitution on a firmer and more permanent basis.

--Thomas Jefferson


purple

I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.

--Thomas Jefferson

person looking at the milkyway

By making this wine known to the public, I have rendered my country as great a service as if I had enabled it to pay back the national debt.

--Thomas Jefferson

man standing on cliff under white sky

If the happiness of the mass of mankind 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

yellow sunflower in close up photography

The love of justice and the love of country plead equally the cause of these people, and it is a moral reproach to us that they should have pleaded it so long in vain.

--Thomas Jefferson

white petaled flower

Although our prospect is peace, our policy and purpose are to provide for defense by all those means to which our resources are competent.

--Thomas Jefferson

green trees on forest during daytime

Resisting tyranny is obeying God.

--Thomas Jefferson

close up photography of moon

Wine brightens the life and thinking of anyone.

--Thomas Jefferson

purple petaled flower

I pledge undying hostility to any government restrictions on the free minds of the people.

--Thomas Jefferson

mountains under white mist at daytime

I believe that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette of man standing on hill during starry night

The ground I have already passed over enables me to see my way into that which is before me.

--Thomas Jefferson

brown wooden dock under night sky

We should be determined... to sever ourselves from the union we so much value rather than give up the rights of self-government... in which alone we see liberty, safety and happiness.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette of mountain during sunset

The best defense of democracy is an informed electorate.

--Thomas Jefferson

wall

I have so much confidence in the good sense of man, and his qualifications for self-government, that I am never afraid of the issue where reason is left free to exert her force.

--Thomas Jefferson


black mountain under blue sky during night time

Inspirational Quotes on: Honesty, Simplicity, Secret, Universe, Modesty, Peace
Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.

--Thomas Jefferson

body of water during daytime

Error indeed has often prevailed by the assistance of power or force. Truth is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error.

--Thomas Jefferson


three clear glass cups

Let common sense and common honesty have fair play, and they will soon set things to rights.

--Thomas Jefferson


sea of white clouds

Every man's reason is his own rightful umpire. This principle, with that of acquiescence in the will of the majority, will preserve us free and prosperous as long as they are sacredly observed.

--Thomas Jefferson

shallow focus photography of bee on flower

Falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.

--Thomas Jefferson

photo of white and brown bricked wall during daytime

If we did a good act merely from love of God and a belief that it is pleasing to Him, whence arises the morality of the Atheist? ...Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than the love of God.

--Thomas Jefferson

brown wallpaper

Is it less dishonest to do what is wrong because it is not expressly prohibited by written law? Let us hope our moral principles are not yet in that stage of degeneracy.

--Thomas Jefferson

pink and red flowers

We should talk over the lessons of the day, or lose them in Music, Chess, or the merriments of our family companions.

--Thomas Jefferson

sunset

Nothing was or is farther from my intentions, than to enlist myself as the champion of a fixed opinion, where I have only expressed doubt.

--Thomas Jefferson

brown textile

To consider judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions is a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.

--Thomas Jefferson

red wine digital wallpaper

Rogueries, absurdities and untruths were perpetrated upon the teachings of Jesus by a large band of dupes and importers led by Paul, the first great corrupter of the teaching of Jesus.

--Thomas Jefferson

man in blue jacket and blue pants carrying black and red backpack standing on snow covered

With nations as with individuals our interests soundly calculated will ever be found inseparable from our moral duties.

--Thomas Jefferson

Arizona landscape rain

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



black

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

a man walks alone in the haze

No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority.

--Thomas Jefferson

2 people riding on boat during sunset

The wisdom of our ages and the blood of our heroes has been devoted to the attainment of trial by jury. It should be the creed of our political faith.

--Thomas Jefferson

green grass field

An acre of the best ground for hemp, is to be selected and sewn in hemp and be kept for a permanent hemp patch.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette of flower during sunset

To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude.

--Thomas Jefferson

body of water under blue sky with stars

If the 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


full-moon above snow-capped mountain painting

Our part is to pursue with steadiness what is right, turning neither to right nor left for the intrigues or popular delusions of the day, assured that the public approbation will in the end be with us.

--Thomas Jefferson


five woman standing on seashore

I find the pain of a little censure, even when it is unfounded, is more acute than the pleasure of much praise.

--Thomas Jefferson


white brick wall

It is for the benefit of mankind to mitigate the horrors of war as much as possible.

--Thomas Jefferson

white textile in close up photography

So much of the presidency is a matter of standing in the path of a Newsham Engine for Quenching Fires, opening one's mouth, and attempting to get a drink.

--Thomas Jefferson

black Corona typewriter on brown wood planks

I see the necessity of sacrificing our opinions sometimes to the opinions of others for the sake of harmony.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette of mountain

If I had to choose between government and a free press, I would choose a free press.

--Thomas Jefferson

high-angle photography of beach side

The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep he waters pure.

--Thomas Jefferson

blue sky with white clouds

If I am to meet with a disappointment, the sooner I know it, the more of life I shall have to wear it off.

--Thomas Jefferson


silhouette of praying man

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

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette of person standing beside bare tree under stary sky

The appointment of a woman to office is an innovation for which the public is not prepared, nor am I.

--Thomas Jefferson

backdrop

A republic will avoid war unless the avoidance might create conditions that are worse than warfare itself. Sometimes, the dispositions of those who choose to make themselves our enemies leaves us no choice.

--Thomas Jefferson



Arizona landscape

The moral sense is as much a part of our constitution as that of feeling, seeing, or hearing.

--Thomas Jefferson


green-leafed plant

The chief purpose of government is to protect life. Abandon that and you have abandoned all.

--Thomas Jefferson

low angle photography of purple sky

Legislators invent too many devices for subdividing property, only taking care to let their subdivisions go hand in hand with the natural affections of the human mind.

--Thomas Jefferson

pink and yellow flower painting

Men fight for freedom; then they begin to accumulate laws to take it away from themselves.

--Thomas Jefferson


black, purple, and orange basketball court beside concrete buildings at daytime

If I could not go to Heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.

--Thomas Jefferson

Longer Version:

If I could not go to heaven with but a party, I would not go there at all. Therefore, I am not of the party of federalists. But I am much further from that of the anti-federalists.


long exposure photography of beach

My confidence is that there will for a long time be virtue and good sense enough in our countrymen to correct abuses.

--Thomas Jefferson


grassland landscape

All power is inherent in the people.

--Thomas Jefferson

mountains with trees under white star at night

Always take hold of things by the smooth handle.

--Thomas Jefferson

brown wooden door

The dignity of parliament it seems can brook no opposition to it's power. Strange that a set of men who have made sale of theirvirtue to the minister should yet talk of retaining dignity!

--Thomas Jefferson

yellow sunflower under blue sky during daytime

The happiest moments my heart knows are those in which it is pouring forth its affections to a few esteemed characters.

--Thomas Jefferson

None

The functionaries of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty and property of their constituents.

--Thomas Jefferson

Longer Version:

The functionaries of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty and property of their constituents. There is no safe deposit for these but with the people themselves, nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe.


white pendant lamp

Public employment contributes neither to advantage nor happiness. It is but honorable exile from one's family and affairs.

--Thomas Jefferson

woman in black sports bra and black leggings

Men possessing minds of the first order and who have had opportunities of being known and of acquiring the general confidence do not abound in any country beyond the wants of the country.

--Thomas Jefferson

shallow focus photography of bee on flower

It would not be for the public good to have a majority in Congress of one party greater than two to one.

--Thomas Jefferson

brown tree branch during daytime

Happiness is the aim of life. Virtue is the foundation of happiness. Utility is the test of virtue. If the wise be the happy man, as the sages say, he must be virtuous too; for without virtue, happiness cannot be.

--Thomas Jefferson

blooming yellow sunflower field

The legislative powers of government reach actions only and not opinions.

--Thomas Jefferson

backdrop

What an augmentation of the field for jobbing, speculating, plundering, office-building and office-hunting would be produced by an assumption of all the state powers into the hands of the general government.

--Thomas Jefferson

black pug puppy on white and pink textile

The mass of the citizens is the safest depositary of their own rights.

--Thomas Jefferson

red and pink flowers

Natural rights are the objects for the protection of which society is formed and municipal laws established.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette of man

The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.

--Thomas Jefferson

person holding pocket watch

A nation, as a society, forms a moral person, and every member of it is personally responsible for his society.

--Thomas Jefferson

grassland landscape

A true patriot will defend his country from its government.

--Thomas Jefferson

brown and white bird on tree branch

Nothing betrays imbecility so much as the being insensible of it.

--Thomas Jefferson

solid color

Certainly, no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the General Government.

--Thomas Jefferson

calm body of water near alp mountains during nighttime

The qualifications for self-government in society are not innate. they are the result of habit and long training.

--Thomas Jefferson


black bird flying under white clouds during daytime

Don't talk about what you have done or what you are going to do.

--Thomas Jefferson

two person standing while watching sky

The execution of the laws is more important than the making of them.

--Thomas Jefferson

purple and white petaled flower

I never before knew the full value of trees. Under them I breakfast, dine, write, read and receive my company.

--Thomas Jefferson

landscape photo of waters, mountains, and black clouds

How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!

--Thomas Jefferson

pink umbrella

The right of self-government does not comprehend the government of others.

--Thomas Jefferson

man riding on boat on body of water

It is my principle that the will of the majority should always prevail.

--Thomas Jefferson

sunset

The cornerstone of democracy rests on the foundation of an educated electorate.

--Thomas Jefferson

laughing woman photo

The minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.

--Thomas Jefferson

multicolored heart LED light on wall

Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.

--Thomas Jefferson

selective-focus photograph of gray bird on tree branch

There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me.

--Thomas Jefferson

grayscale photo of person's back

The human character, we believe, requires in general constant and immediate control to prevent its being biased from right by the seductions of self-love.

--Thomas Jefferson

gray concrete surface

Knowing that religion does not furnish grosser bigots than law, I expect little from old judges.

--Thomas Jefferson

women's black and pink monokini

No man will ever carry out of the Presidency the reputation which carried him into it.

--Thomas Jefferson

Longer Version:

A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the highest virtues 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 higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means.


sunflower

Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.

--Thomas Jefferson

rocks near shore during nighttime

I am a sect by myself, as far as I know.

--Thomas Jefferson

bird on pier

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

black and white bird on seashore

No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.

--Thomas Jefferson

white tulip flower in close up photography

The office of reformer of the superstitions of a nation is ever dangerous.

--Thomas Jefferson

Longer Version:

The office of reformer of the superstitions of a nation, is ever more dangerous. Jesus had to work on the perilous confines of reason and religion; and a step to the right or left might place him within the grasp of the priests of the superstition, a bloodthirsty race, as cruel and remorseless as the being whom they represented as the family God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob, and the local God of Israel. That Jesus did not mean to impose himself on mankind as the son of God, physically speaking, I have been convinced by the writings of men more learned than myself in that lore.


purple and white petaled flower

I have overlived the generation with which mutual labors and perils begat mutual confidence and influence.

--Thomas Jefferson

green leaf

I have learned to be less confident in the conclusions of human reason, and give more credit to the honesty of contrary opinions.

--Thomas Jefferson


purple flower in macro lens

The benefit of even limited monopolies is too doubtful, to be opposed to that of their general suppression.

--Thomas Jefferson

photo of white and brown bricked wall during daytime

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

solid background

And even should the cloud of barbarism and despotism again obscure the science and libraries of Europe, this country remains to preserve and restore light and liberty to them.

--Thomas Jefferson

Longer Version:

And even should the cloud of barbarism and despotism again obscure the science and liberties of Europe, this country remains to preserve and restore light and liberty to them. In short, the flames kindled on the fourth of July, 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they will consume these engines and all who work them.


palm tree under orange sky

Common sense is the foundation of all authorities, of the laws themselves, and of their construction.

--Thomas Jefferson

top view photography of heart latte coffee

No nation is permitted to live in ignorance with impunity.

--Thomas Jefferson

white analog wall clock at 11 00

The olive tree is surely the richest gift of Heaven. I can scarcely expect bread.

--Thomas Jefferson

white tulips with green leaves

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

leafless tree

Though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable.

--Thomas Jefferson

person holding green plant during daytime

Everyone must act according to the dictates of his own reason.

--Thomas Jefferson

clear blue sea under blue sky

If you have to eat crow, eat it while it's young and tender.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette of kneeling man

Establish the eternal truth that acquiescence under insult is not the way to escape war.

--Thomas Jefferson

yellow and white painted wall

I may grow rich by an art I am compelled to follow; I may recover health by medicines I am compelled to take against my own judgment; but I cannot be saved by a worship I disbelieve and abhor.

--Thomas Jefferson

green trees on body of water during daytime

The Bible is the cornerstone of liberty ... students perusal of the sacred volume will make us better citizens.

--Thomas Jefferson

round black and white analog alarm clock

It is the old practice of despots to use a part of the people to keep the rest in order.

--Thomas Jefferson


panoramic photography of mountains

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

pink rose in close up photography

He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.

--Thomas Jefferson

pink tulips in clear glass vase

A democratic society depends upon an informed and educated citizenry.

--Thomas Jefferson

closeup photography of black and brown bird

Anarchy is necessarily consequent to inefficiency.

--Thomas Jefferson

yellow tulip flowers

What all agree upon is probably right; what no two agree in most probably is wrong.

--Thomas Jefferson

smiling woman

A mind always employed is always happy. This is the true secret, the grand recipe, for felicity.

--Thomas Jefferson

white concrete building

Nothing is more incumbent on the old than to know when they should get out of the way and relinquish to younger successors the honors they can no longer earn, and the duties they can no longer perform.

--Thomas Jefferson

brown trees on brown field during daytime

He who gives his freedom for safety gets none of them.

--Thomas Jefferson


red and white heart balloons

Eternal Vigilance is the price of democracy.

--Thomas Jefferson

three books on surface

I am savage enough to prefer the woods, the wilds, and the independence of Monticello, to all the brilliant pleasures of this gay capital Paris.

--Thomas Jefferson


blue sky

I shall rejoin myself to my native country, with new attachments, and with exaggerated esteem for its advantages; for though there is less wealth there, there is more freedom, more ease, and less misery.

--Thomas Jefferson

man facing women near forest

From candlelight to early bedtime, I read.

--Thomas Jefferson

sunset with storm clouds

If the Wise be the happy man... he must be virtuous too; for, without virtue, happiness cannot be. This then is the true scope of all academical emulation.

--Thomas Jefferson

beige concrete wall

Dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the body, acquire strength by exercise.

--Thomas Jefferson

snowy mountain

Life is of no value but as it brings gratifications. among the most valuable of these is rational society. it informs the mind, sweetens the temper, chears our spirits, and promotes health.

--Thomas Jefferson

yellow sunflower in glass vase

But this momentous question, like a fire bell in the night, awakened and filled me with terror.

--Thomas Jefferson

body of water under clear blue sky painting

A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of life.

--Thomas Jefferson

black, purple, and orange basketball court beside concrete buildings at daytime

We are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a featherbed.

--Thomas Jefferson

aerial photography of mountain range covered with snow under white and blue sky at daytime

Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness.

--Thomas Jefferson

Dark purple to red to orange gradient

Neither believe nor reject any thing because any other person, or description of persons have rejected or believed it. Your own reason is the only oracle given you by heaven.

--Thomas Jefferson

green ceramic mug beside book

Although a republican government is slow to move, yet when once in motion, its momentum becomes irresistible.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette of person's hands forming heart

Paper is poverty. It is only the ghost of money, and not money itself.

--Thomas Jefferson

Longer Version:

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 and labored with it. It deserved well of its country. It was very like the present, but without the experience of the present; and forty years of experience in Government is worth a century of book-reading; and this they would say themselves, were they to rise from the dead.


grayscale photography of man riding bicycle

It is too late in the day for men of sincerity to pretend they believe in the Platonic mysticisms that three are one, and one is three; and yet that the one is not three, and the three are not one.

--Thomas Jefferson

brown and white dog in close-up photography

The hole and the patch should be commensurate.

--Thomas Jefferson

orange rose in bloom close up photo

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


high-angle photography of beach side

From forty years' experience of the wretched guess-work of the newspapers of what is not done in open daylight, and of their falsehood even as to that, I rarely think them worth reading, and almost never worth notice.

--Thomas Jefferson

woman standing on cliff

The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.

--Thomas Jefferson

aerial photography of mountain range covered with snow under white and blue sky at daytime

I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.

--Thomas Jefferson

light green

The people cannot be all, and always well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive.

--Thomas Jefferson

sunset

If God is just, I tremble for my country.

--Thomas Jefferson



red textile in close up photography

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

purple flower

All we can do is to make the best of our friends, love and cherish what is good in them, and keep out of the way what is bad.

--Thomas Jefferson

Longer Version:

All we can do is to make the best of our friends: love and cherish what is good in them, and keep out of the way of what is bad: but no more think of rejecting them for it than of throwing away a piece of music for a flat passage or two.



white petaled flowers beside gray wall

Body and mind both unemployed, our being becomes a burthen, and every object about us loathsome, even the dearest. Idleness begets ennui, ennui the hypochondria, and that a diseased body.

--Thomas Jefferson

elephants on green grass field during daytime

Laws provide against injury from others; but not from ourselves.

--Thomas Jefferson

black bird flying under white clouds during daytime

How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened. .

--Thomas Jefferson

blue and red bird during daytime

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.

--Thomas Jefferson

white smoke

Still less let it be proposed that our properties within our own territories shall be taxed or regulated by any power on earth but our own.

--Thomas Jefferson





sunset

The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force.

--Thomas Jefferson


shallow focus photography of hand with red paint

We could in the United States make as great a variety of wines as are made in Europe, not exactly of the same kinds, but doubtless as good.

--Thomas Jefferson

selective focus photography of Russian Blue cat

If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy?

--Thomas Jefferson


closeup photo of bird beside purple petal flowers

I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.

--Thomas Jefferson

green water in close up photography

How did Jefferson feel about the people of his day who were the equivalent of our modern day penecostals? You know, those revelation reveling tongue speaking idiots.

--Thomas Jefferson

clear hour glass beside pink flowers

He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.

--Thomas Jefferson


gray surface

But of all the views of this law universal education none is more important, none more legitimate, than that of rendering the people the safe, as they are the ultimate, guardians of their own liberty.

--Thomas Jefferson

raging waves through shores

A rising nation, spread over a wide and fruitful Land, traversing all the seas with the rich production of their Industry.

--Thomas Jefferson

plain

A government big enough to give you everything you need is government big enough to take away everything you have.

--Thomas Jefferson

purple flower on purple textile

Morals were too essential to the happiness of man, to be risked on the uncertain combinations of the head. Nature laid their foundation, therefore, in sentiment, not in science.

--Thomas Jefferson

time lapse photography of lightning during storm

Our civil rights have no dependence upon our religious opinions more than our opinions in physics or geometry.

--Thomas Jefferson

woman signing on white printer paper beside woman about to touch the documents

The Tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrant. It is its natural manure.

--Thomas Jefferson

photography of white wall lot

History has informed us that bodies of men as well as individuals are susceptible of the spirit of tyranny.

--Thomas Jefferson

pink

The sickly, weakly, timid man fears the people, and is a Tory by nature. The healthy, strong and bold cherishes them, and is formed a Whig by nature.

--Thomas Jefferson

Arizona landscape

Nature intended me for the tranquil pursuits of science by rendering them my supreme delight.

--Thomas Jefferson



closeup photo of lounger chairs and beach umbrellas

The contest is not between us and them, but between good and evil, and if those who would fight evil adopt the ways of evil, evil wins.

--Thomas Jefferson

full-moon above snow-capped mountain painting

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.

--Thomas Jefferson

green grass field

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

woman signing on white printer paper beside woman about to touch the documents

I am for freedom of religion, and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another.

--Thomas Jefferson

A white stripe pattern made up of concrete facade ribs

I wish to see this beverage become common instead of the whiskey which kills sone-third of our citizens and ruins their families.

--Thomas Jefferson

person holding gray and beige roman numeral alarm clock

If you serve humanity, you serve humanity's God.

--Thomas Jefferson



black textile on white textile

Would it not be better to simplify the system of taxation rather than to spread it over such a variety of subjects and pass through so many new hands.

--Thomas Jefferson

yellow and white abstract painting

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


green plants beside brown wooden door

Determine never to be idle. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.

--Thomas Jefferson

Longer Version:

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 can be done if we are always doing.



sunset

The man who would choose security over freedom deserves neither.

--Thomas Jefferson


backdrop

A truth now and then projecting into the ocean of newspaper lies serves like headlands to correct our course. Indeed, my scepticism as to everything I see in a newspaper makes me indifferent whether I ever see one.

--Thomas Jefferson

sunset and agave stalk

The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave.

--Thomas Jefferson

black, purple, and orange basketball court beside concrete buildings at daytime

The fortune of our lives depends on employing well the short period of our youth.

--Thomas Jefferson

closed door

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

--Thomas Jefferson

pink and white clouds

A little rebellion now and then is a good thing. Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God. In order to flourish, the tree of Liberty needs the blood of patriots and tyrants.

--Thomas Jefferson

clear hour glass beside pink flowers

The constitutional freedom of religion is the most inalienable and sacred of all human rights.

--Thomas Jefferson

person in black hoodie using laptop computer

If by religion we are to understand sectarian dogmas, in which no two of them agree, then your exclamation on that hypothesis is just, "that this would be the best of worlds if there were no religion in it.

--Thomas Jefferson

green leafed plant on clear glass vase filled with water

We are sensible of the duty and expediency of submitting our opinions to the will of the majority, and can wait with patience till they get right if they happen to be at any time wrong.

--Thomas Jefferson


photo of giraffe

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

blue and white abstract painting

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

bird in the sky

The Central Bank is an institution of the most deadly hostility existing against the principles and form of our Constitution.

--Thomas Jefferson

brown grass field under blue sky and white clouds during daytime

The abolition of domestic slavery is the great object of desire in those colonies, where it was unhappily introduced in their infant state.

--Thomas Jefferson

jellyfish under water photo

This is perhaps the most important statement on religion ever made. It clarified the intent of the founders of the constitution irrespective of the attempts of modern day religious revisionists.

--Thomas Jefferson

blue and white abstract painting

Man is a rational animal, endowed by nature with rights and with an innate sense of justice.

--Thomas Jefferson

man and woman holding hand while walking on bridge

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.

--Thomas Jefferson

pink rose

I tolerate with the utmost latitude the right of others to differ from me in opinion without imputing to them criminality.

--Thomas Jefferson

grayscale photography of mountain surrounded by trees

The greatest good we can do our country is to heal its party divisions and make them one people.

--Thomas Jefferson

raging waves through shores

The clergy believe that any power confided in me will be exerted in opposition to their schemes, and they believe rightly.

--Thomas Jefferson


Close-up of a white line on green grass in a soccer field

The order of nature is that individual happiness shall be inseparable from the practice of virtue.

--Thomas Jefferson

brown and gray brick wall

The time to guard against corruption and tyranny is before they shall have gotten hold of us. It is better to keep the wolf out of the fold, than to trust to drawing his teeth and talons after he shall have entered.

--Thomas Jefferson

woman in black tank top

Those who don't read the newspapers are better off than those who do insofar as those who know nothing are better off than those whose heads are filled with half-truths and lies.

--Thomas Jefferson

purple moth orchids in bloom close up photo

Religion, morality, and knowledge are necessary for good government... Therefore schools and the means of educating the people should always be encouraged.

--Thomas Jefferson

close-up photograph of black dreadnought acoustic guitar

To every obstacle oppose patience, perseverance and soothing language.

--Thomas Jefferson

calm body of water near alp mountains during nighttime

Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette of man on top of hill overlooking lighted city at dawn

There is not a single crowned head in Europe whose talents or merit would entitle him to be elected a vestryman by the people of any parish in America.

--Thomas Jefferson

grayscale photography of man riding bicycle

My most earnest wish is to see the republican element of popular control pushed to the maximum of its practicable exercise. I shall then believe that our government may be pure and perpetual.

--Thomas Jefferson

pair of white lace-up shoes

The present generation has the same right of self-government which the past one has exercised for itself.

--Thomas Jefferson

white stone woman sculpture

The equal rights of man and the happiness of every individual are now acknowledged to be the only legitimate objects of government.

--Thomas Jefferson

sunset and agave stalk

Doubts and jealousies often beget the facts they fear.

--Thomas Jefferson

red flower in white background

The study of the law is useful in a variety of points of view. it qualifies a man to be useful to himself, to his neighbors, and to the public.

--Thomas Jefferson

None

Should things go wrong at any time, the people will set them to rights by the peaceable exercise of their elective rights.

--Thomas Jefferson


yellow sunflower field under blue sky during daytime

The reason that Christianity is the best friend of government is because Christianity is the only religion that changes the heart.

--Thomas Jefferson

yellow sunflower in close up photography

In our early struggles for liberty, religious freedom could not fail to become a primary object.

--Thomas Jefferson

man playing soccer during daytime

If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done.

--Thomas Jefferson

withered tree surrounded with snow during daytime

The sheep are happier of themselves, than under the care of wolves.

--Thomas Jefferson

green grass field

Never did a prisoner, released from his chains, feel such relief as I shall on shaking off the shackles of power.

--Thomas Jefferson

pink tulips in close up photography

I have but one system of ethics for men and for nations -- to be grateful, to be faithful to all engagements under all circumstances, to be open and generous, promoting in the long run even the interests of both.

--Thomas Jefferson

brown and black jazz guitar with dim light

No people who are ignorant can be truly free.

--Thomas Jefferson

pink rose in bloom close up photo

When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.

--Thomas Jefferson

blue parrot standing on brown tree branch

The people are not always well-informed, but is better that they have misconceptions that make them restless than that they be lethargic-for lethargy in the people means death for republics.

--Thomas Jefferson

yellow pen

I rejoice when I hear of young men of virtue and talents, worthy to receive and likely to preserve the splendid inheritance of self- government, which we have acquired and shaped for them.

--Thomas Jefferson

two women walking on bridge during daytime

I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature.

--Thomas Jefferson

solid background

All men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights...namely the enjoyment of life and liberty...and pursuing and obtaining happiness.

--Thomas Jefferson

swimming pool with stainless steel ladder

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.

--Thomas Jefferson

selective focus photography of woman taking selfie

The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.

--Thomas Jefferson

black fishes

The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette photography of trees and sky

Beer, if drank with moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit, and promotes health.

--Thomas Jefferson

purple lavender flower

The rights of the people to the exercise and fruits of their own industry can never be protected against the selfishness of rulers not subject to their control at short periods.

--Thomas Jefferson


white boat on sea under white sky during daytime

I feel... an ardent desire to see knowledge so disseminated through the mass of mankind that it may, at length, reach even the extremes of society: beggars and kings.

--Thomas Jefferson


silhouette of tall trees

Instead of that liberty which takes root and growth in the progress of reason, if recovered by mere force or accident, it becomes with an unprepared people a tyranny still of the many, the few, or the one.

--Thomas Jefferson

pink and white flower in close up photography

Where the law of the majority ceases to be acknowledged, there government ends; the law of the strongest takes its place, and life and property are his who can take them.

--Thomas Jefferson

person running

It is better to have no ideas than false ones.

--Thomas Jefferson

red tulips

No generation has a right to contract debts greater than can be paid off during the course of its own existence.

--Thomas Jefferson

white desk lamp beside green plant

I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our fathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries of comforts of life.

--Thomas Jefferson

yellow and purple flower with white background

The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits.

--Thomas Jefferson


assorted-colored cactus

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

--Thomas Jefferson

photography of burning camp fire

I sincerely pray that all the members of the human family may, in the time prescribed by the Father of us all, find themselves securely established in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and happiness.

--Thomas Jefferson

yellow green leaf

Difference of opinion is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a Censor -- over each other.

--Thomas Jefferson

man in blue jacket and blue pants carrying black and red backpack standing on snow covered

Defend our liberties and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindred and tongues.

--Thomas Jefferson

woman wearing black top standing near yellow wall

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


purple flower on purple textile

The multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning knife.

--Thomas Jefferson



blue rose with water droplet

The good opinion of mankind, like the lever of Archimedes, with the given fulcrum, moves the world.

--Thomas Jefferson

seashore during golden hour

The purpose of government is to enable the people of a nation to live in safety and happiness. Government exists for the interests of the governed, not for the governors.

--Thomas Jefferson


closeup photography of brown and gray concrete bricks

Trial by jury is part of that bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation.

--Thomas Jefferson


silhouette of person jumping in mid air

I sincerely believe... that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.

--Thomas Jefferson

blue and white striped textile

Nothing is unchangeable but the inherent and unalienable rights of man.

--Thomas Jefferson

woman signing on white printer paper beside woman about to touch the documents

In a government bottomed on the will of all, the... liberty of every individual citizen becomes interesting to all.

--Thomas Jefferson

woman jumping near white wall paint

Hindsight is an exact science. Hold fast to your dreams, for it dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened.

--Thomas Jefferson

person wearing Apple watch

An honest heart being the first blessing, a knowing head is the second.

--Thomas Jefferson

blue sky with stars during night time

All should be laid open to you without reserve, for there is not a truth existing which I fear, or would wish unknown to the whole world.

--Thomas Jefferson

purple and black skies

Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion.

--Thomas Jefferson

pink and white flowers in tilt shift lens

Of all exercises, walking is the best.

--Thomas Jefferson

red tulip in bloom close up photo

Every man has a commission to admonish, exhort, convince another of error.

--Thomas Jefferson

aerial photo of foggy mountains

We sometimes from dreams pick up some hint worth improving by reflection.

--Thomas Jefferson


man riding on boat on body of water

Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.

--Thomas Jefferson

empty gray floor beside pool

Be assured that it gives much more pain to the mind to be in debt, than to do without any article whatever which we may seem to want.

--Thomas Jefferson

red rose flower

Those who expect to be both ignorant and free, expect what never was and never will be.

--Thomas Jefferson

solid background

The States should be urged to concede to the General Government, with a saving of chartered rights, the exclusive power of establishing banks of discount for paper.

--Thomas Jefferson

fawn pug on bed

All that is necessary for a student is access to a library.

--Thomas Jefferson


silhouette of person wearing cowboy hat during sunset

We often repent of what we have said, but never, never, of that which we have not.

--Thomas Jefferson

lighted candle in dark room

In questions of power, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the constitution.

--Thomas Jefferson


boy standing on grass and facing fence during daytime

Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must.

--Thomas Jefferson

person sleeping on gray gang chair

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

pink cherry blossom tree under blue sky during daytime

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

man kissing the woman wearing blue polka-dot dress

Dependence begets subservience and paves the way for tyranny.

--Thomas Jefferson

flying blue and green hummingbird

We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.

--Thomas Jefferson

woman standing on beachfront

The art of life is the art of avoiding pain; and he is the best pilot, who steers clearest of the rocks and shoals with which it is beset.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette photo of mountain during night time

How sublime to look down on the workhouse of nature, to see her clouds, hail, snow, rain, thunder, all fabricated at our feet!

--Thomas Jefferson



person holding white book

Our minds were circumscribed within narrow limits by an habitual belief that it was our duty to be subordinate to the mother country.

--Thomas Jefferson

red and yellow abstract painting

Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.

--Thomas Jefferson

pair of white lace-up shoes

I have ever deemed it more honorable and more profitable, too, to set a good example than to follow a bad one.

--Thomas Jefferson

red wallpaper

If you are obliged to neglect any thing, let it be your chemistry. It is the least useful and the least amusing to a country gentleman of all the ordinary branches of science.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette of mountain during golden hour

I am satisfied, and sufficiently occupied with the things which are, without tormenting or troubling myself about those which may indeed be, but of which I have no evidence.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette of man in water

I am sure that in estimating every man's value either in private or public life, a pure integrity is the quality we take first into calculation, and that learning and talents are only the second.

--Thomas Jefferson

shallow focus photography of purple flower

A prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a people who mean to be free.

--Thomas Jefferson

man and woman holding hand while walking on bridge

I consider ethics, as well as religion, as supplements to law in the government of man.

--Thomas Jefferson

person's hand holding round silver analog watch with black leather strap

Information is the currency of democracy.

--Thomas Jefferson

white desk lamp beside green plant

Trade liberty for safety or money and you'll end up with neither. Liberty, like a grain of salt, easily dissolves. The power of questioning -- not simply believing -- has no friends. Yet liberty depends on it.

--Thomas Jefferson

body of water under blue sky during daytime

The fantastical idea of virtue and the public good being a sufficient security to the state against the commission of crimes, which you say you have heard insisted on by some, I assure you was never mine.

--Thomas Jefferson

brown butterfly perched on flower

It is part of the American character to consider nothing as desperate.

--Thomas Jefferson


backdrop

I advance it therefore as a suspicion only, that the blacks, whether originally a distinct race, or made distinct by time and circumstances, are inferior to the whites in the endowments of both body and mind.

--Thomas Jefferson

milky way galaxy

That paper money has some advantages is admitted. But that its abuses also are inevitable and, by breaking up the measure of value, makes a lottery of all private property, cannot be denied.

--Thomas Jefferson

black Sony point-and-shoot camera on yellow surface

Our legislators are not sufficiently apprized of the rightful limits of their power; that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights and duties, and to take none of them from us.

--Thomas Jefferson

black and white photo of woman looking upward

Good wine is a necessity of life for me.

--Thomas Jefferson

brown and black leaf in close up photography

We must be contented to amuse, when we cannot inform.

--Thomas Jefferson



grey hlalway

The laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.

--Thomas Jefferson


landscape photo of waters, mountains, and black clouds

A nation which expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, expects that which never was and never will be.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette of mountains during starry night

Democracy is 51% of the people taking away the rights of the other 49%.

--Thomas Jefferson

gray hummingbird

Never put off for tomorrow, what you can do today.

--Thomas Jefferson

Hey! I miss you

A strong body makes the mind strong.

--Thomas Jefferson

Longer Version:

A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.





silhouette of man standing on rock while looking in sky

Ignorance and bigotry, like other insanities, are incapable of self-government.

--Thomas Jefferson

low angle photography of gray concrete building

It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all.

--Thomas Jefferson

green plant in tilt shift lens

The small landholders are the most precious part of a state.

--Thomas Jefferson



two blue beach chairs near body of water

The constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruption's of time and party, its members would become despots.

--Thomas Jefferson

pink flower

As for what is not true, you will always find abundance in the newspapers.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette photo of couple standing on beach watching sunset

A determination never to do what is wrong, prudence, and good-humor, will go far toward securing to you the estimation of the world.

--Thomas Jefferson


sun

The God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?

--Thomas Jefferson


blooming yellow sunflower field

Too old to plant trees for my own gratification, I shall do it for my posterity.

--Thomas Jefferson

shallow focus photo of white rose

The sovereign invigorator of the body is exercise, and of all the exercises walking is the best.

--Thomas Jefferson

silver round analog wall clock

The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government.

--Thomas Jefferson

Vincent Van Gogh self portrait painting on wall

I have lived temperately....I double the doctor's recommendation of a glass and a half wine each day and even treble it with a friend.

--Thomas Jefferson


silhouette photography of person in gray sailing boat in the middle of body of water

On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock.

--Thomas Jefferson

photo of brown parquet

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

--Thomas Jefferson

lone tree in grassland

Power is not alluring to pure minds.

--Thomas Jefferson

selective focus photo of four green humming birds with red flowers

Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.

--Thomas Jefferson

blue and white striped textile

A single zealot may commence prosecutor, and better men be his victims.

--Thomas Jefferson

gray elephant

I'm a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.

--Thomas Jefferson

yellow sunflower field under blue sky during daytime

The Habeas Corpus secures every man here, alien or citizen, against everything which is not law, whatever shape it may assume.

--Thomas Jefferson

pot on window with flowers

Nothing is so disgusting to our sex as want of cleanliness and delicacy in yours.

--Thomas Jefferson

low-angle photo of white daisy

When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.

--Thomas Jefferson

rainbow desert

Malice will always find bad motives for good actions. -- Shall we therefore never do good?

--Thomas Jefferson

yellow sunflower under blue sky during daytime

Let the farmer forevermore be honored in his calling; for they who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God.

--Thomas Jefferson

rock formation surrounding by body of water

Every gentleman plays billiards, but someone who plays billiards too well, is no gentleman.

--Thomas Jefferson

green and white bird on black wire during daytime

Self-interest, or rather self-love, or egoism, has been more plausibly substituted as the basis of morality.

--Thomas Jefferson

tan wallpaper

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


lion on green grass during golden hour

Some of my finest hours have been spent on my back veranda, smoking hemp and observing as far as my eye can see.

--Thomas Jefferson

black pug puppy on white and pink textile

It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good.

--Thomas Jefferson

black and white window illustration

Hemp is one of the greatest, most important substances of our nation.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette of mountain during golden hour

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

blue and red bird during daytime

I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.

--Thomas Jefferson

grayscale photo of elephant on grass field

A Nation's best defense is an educated citizenry.

--Thomas Jefferson

close-up photography of heart shaped fairy lite on brown sand

We must meet our duty and convince the world that we are just friends and brave enemies.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette of a woman with pink and purple sky

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


Arizona landscape rain

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.

--Thomas Jefferson

Longer Version:

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.


white

If our country, when pressed with wrongs at the point of the bayonet, had been governed by its heads instead of its hearts, where should we have been now? Hanging on a gallows as high as Haman's.

--Thomas Jefferson

gray-scale photo of man and woman holding hands

I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.

--Thomas Jefferson

man playing soccer during daytime

Music, drawing, books, invention and exercise will be so many resources to you against ennui.

--Thomas Jefferson

man holding brown violin

Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.

--Thomas Jefferson

gray wooden house on green plains near mountain range at daytime

Health is the first requisite after morality.

--Thomas Jefferson

person looking at the milkyway

My passion strengthens daily to quit political turmoil, and retire into the bosom of my family, the only scene of sincere and purehappiness.

--Thomas Jefferson

white snow mountain

The way to silence religious disputes is to take no notice of them.

--Thomas Jefferson

assorted-color beach houses

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


None

Erecting the 'wall of separation between church and state'... is absolutely essential in a free society.

--Thomas Jefferson

black and white bird on seashore

Independence can be trusted nowhere but with the people in mass. They are inherently independent of all but moral law.

--Thomas Jefferson

blue and black abstract painting

Above all things, and at all times, practice yourself in good humor.

--Thomas Jefferson

grayscale photography of person on beach

There are other places at which ... the laws have said there shall be towns; but Nature has said there shall not, and they remain unworthy of enumeration.

--Thomas Jefferson

black bird flying under white clouds during daytime

I have no ambition to govern men; it is a painful and thankless office.

--Thomas Jefferson

man in black jacket sitting on chair

No instance exists of a person's writing two language perfectly. That will always appear to be his native language which was most familiar to him in his youth.

--Thomas Jefferson


selective focus photography of grey coin operated telescope

In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

--Thomas Jefferson

white tulip flower in close up photography

Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government.

--Thomas Jefferson

low angle photography of gray concrete building

God grant that men of principle shall be our principal men.

--Thomas Jefferson

None

A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will lose both, and deserve neither.

--Thomas Jefferson

solid background

But under the beaming, constant and almost vertical sun of Virginia, shade is our Elysium. In the absence of this no beauty of the eye can be enjoyed.

--Thomas Jefferson


yellow flower field near bare trees during daytime

I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

--Thomas Jefferson


yellow sunflower in glass vase

We confide in our strength, without boasting of it, we respect that of others, without fearing it.

--Thomas Jefferson

man riding on boat on body of water

Peace, that glorious moment in time when everyone stops and reloads.

--Thomas Jefferson

red textile in close up photography

The press is the best instrument for enlightening the mind of man, and improving him as a rational, moral and social being.

--Thomas Jefferson


purple and white petaled flower

I do verily believe that a single, consolidated government would become the most corrupt government on the earth.

--Thomas Jefferson

gray building

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

Longer Version:

I hold it that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms are in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people, which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions, as not to discourage them too much. It is medicine necessary for the sound health of government.


panoramic photography of mountains

Slavery is an abomination and must be loudly proclaimed as such, but I own that I nor any other man has any

immediate solution to the problem.

--Thomas Jefferson

woman signing on white printer paper beside woman about to touch the documents

War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.

--Thomas Jefferson

closeup photography of wall

No religious reading, instruction or exercise, shall be prescribed or practiced in the elementary schools inconsistent with the tenets of any religious sect or denomination.

--Thomas Jefferson

yellow and white color illustration

He, who steadily observes those moral precepts in which all religions concur, will never be questioned at the gates of heaven as to the dogmas in which they all differ.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette photography of person in gray sailing boat in the middle of body of water

May it be to the world... to assume the blessings and security of self-government.

--Thomas Jefferson

selective focus photo of woman holding sunflower surrounded by sunflowers

A pirate spreading misery and ruin over the face of the ocean.

--Thomas Jefferson

green plants beside brown wooden door

No government ought to be without censors; and where the press is free no one ever will.

--Thomas Jefferson

Longer Version:

No government ought to be without censors: and where the press is free, no one ever will. If virtuous, it need not fear the fair operation of attack and defence. Nature has given to man no other means of sifting out the truth either in religion, law, or politics. I think it as honorable to the government neither to know, nor notice, it's sycophants or censors, as it would be undignified and criminal to pamper the former and persecute the latter.


grey cliff near body of water

A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit.

--Thomas Jefferson

flock of birds flying under blue sky during daytime

Lethargy is the forerunner of death to the public liberty.

--Thomas Jefferson

red rose in bloom during daytime

The mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few to ride them.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette photography of trees and sky

Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading.

--Thomas Jefferson


man in black jacket and pants jumping on white rock

I have seen enough of one war never to wish to see another.

--Thomas Jefferson

person on road at sunset

It is an encouraging observation that no good measure was ever proposed which, if duly pursued, failed to prevail in the end.

--Thomas Jefferson

woman signing on white printer paper beside woman about to touch the documents

It is not by the consolidation or concentration of powers but by their distribution that good government is effected.

--Thomas Jefferson





brown grass field under blue sky and white clouds during daytime

While the farmer holds the title to the land, actually, it belongs to all the people because civilization itself rests upon the soil.

--Thomas Jefferson



silhouette of couple

Here was buried Thomas Jefferson Author of the Declaration of American Independence Of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom and Father of the University of Virginia.

--Thomas Jefferson

Longer Version:

Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and Father of the University of Virginia.

Epitaph, upon his instructions to erect a 'a plain die or cube ... surmounted by an Obelisk' with 'the following inscription, and not a word more…because by these, as testimonials that I have lived, I wish most to be remembered.' It omits that he had been President of the United States, a position of political power and prestige, and celebrates his involvement in the creation of the means of inspiration and instruction by which many human lives have been liberated from oppression and ignorance.


person in black hoodie using laptop computer

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

pink and white tulips on white surface

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate power of the society but the people themselves.

--Thomas Jefferson


woman holding brown umbrella

I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind.

--Thomas Jefferson

low angle photography of purple sky

Big banks are more dangerous than standing armies, and the practice of borrowing and spending money to be paid back by the next generation is stealing from their future.

--Thomas Jefferson


body of water

The last hope of human liberty in this world rests on us. we ought, for so dear a stake, to sacrifice every attachment and every enmity.

--Thomas Jefferson

yellow tulip flowers

Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.

--Thomas Jefferson

Longer Version:

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.


adult black and white dog leaning on wooden fence

Love your neighbor as yourself and your country more than yourself.

--Thomas Jefferson

yellow sunflower in close up photography

Who then can so softly bind up the wound of another as he who has felt the same wound himself.

--Thomas Jefferson

rock formation above water

It is more honorable to repair a wrong than to persist in it.

--Thomas Jefferson

sunflower field under white sky during daytime

Coffee, the favorite drink of the civilized world.

--Thomas Jefferson

white cow eating green grass

It seems that the Cannibals of Europe are going to eat one another again. A war between Russia and Turkey is like the battle of the kite and snake; whichever destroys the other, leaves a destroyer the less for the world.

--Thomas Jefferson

photo of white and brown bricked wall during daytime

I have much confidence that we shall proceed successfully for ages to come. My hope of its duration is built much on the enlargement of the resources of life going hand in hand with the enlargement of territory.

--Thomas Jefferson

green fruit in macro lens photography

We did not raise armies for glory or for conquest.

--Thomas Jefferson

cloudy sky

It will be said that great societies cannot exist without government.

--Thomas Jefferson

round Timex analog clock at 2:33

I think all the world would gain by setting commerce at perfect liberty.

--Thomas Jefferson

lights pattern swirls

Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.

--Thomas Jefferson

sunset

When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property.

--Thomas Jefferson

aerial photography of mountain range covered with snow under white and blue sky at daytime

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.

--Thomas Jefferson

low angle photo of starry night

Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.

--Thomas Jefferson

green water in close up photography

I consider the government of the U.S. as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises.

--Thomas Jefferson



two blue beach chairs near body of water

I agree with you that 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

green artificial palm tree on seashore

Any woodsman can tell you that in a broken and sundered nest, one can hardly find more than a precious few whole eggs. So it is with the family.

--Thomas Jefferson

person wearing red jacket climbing on glacier

We might have been a free and great people together.

--Thomas Jefferson

clear drinking glass with beer

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

body of water during daytime

Ignorance of the law is no excuse in any country. If it were, the laws would lose their effect, because it can always be pretended.

--Thomas Jefferson

blue and white abstract painting

I thank heaven that the 4th. of July is over. It is always a day of great fatigue to me, and of some embarrassments from improper intrusions and some from unintended exclusions.

--Thomas Jefferson


flowers

Dependence leads to subservience.

--Thomas Jefferson

brown and white bird on tree branch

Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.

--Thomas Jefferson


mountains with trees under white star at night

The only way to win money out of a casino is to own one.

--Thomas Jefferson

yellow and blue painted wall

We will be soldiers, so our sons may be farmers, so their sons may be artists.

--Thomas Jefferson

pink and white tulips on white surface

I am never tempted to pray but when a warm feeling for my friends comes athwart my heart.

--Thomas Jefferson

yellow flower field near bare trees during daytime

Ambition is a tricky little animal to tame. It is very skillful at concealing itself from its master.

--Thomas Jefferson

Close-up of a white line on green grass in a soccer field

I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.

--Thomas Jefferson

red rose flower

I own that I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.

--Thomas Jefferson

woman in black sports bra and black leggings

When sins are dear to us we are too prone to slide into them again. The act of repentance itself is often sweetened with the thought that it clears our account for a repetition of the same sin.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette photo of mountain during night time

When the people are afraid of the government, that's tyranny. But when the government is afraid of the people, that's liberty.

--Thomas Jefferson

flat lay photography teacup on top of saucer

But every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.

--Thomas Jefferson

a couple holding hands with a wedding ring visible

The genius of architecture seems to have shed its maledictions over this land.

--Thomas Jefferson


pink and white light illustration

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

tilt shift lens pink fetal flowers

The natural cause of the human mind is certainly from credulity to skepticism.

--Thomas Jefferson

Arizona landscape

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

white pendant lamp

For if one link in nature's chain might be lost, another might be lost, until the whole of things will vanish by piecemeal.

--Thomas Jefferson

yellow and white painted wall

A lottery is a salutary instrument and a tax... laid on the willing only, that is to say, on those who can risk the price of a ticket without sensible injury, for the possibility of a higher prize.

--Thomas Jefferson

woman wearing black top standing near yellow wall

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

sunset

Private enterprise manages so much better all the concerns to which it is equal.

--Thomas Jefferson

selective focus photo of four green humming birds with red flowers

I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.

--Thomas Jefferson

blue wooden door opened

It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read.

--Thomas Jefferson

black bird flying on white background

He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it the second time.

--Thomas Jefferson

Longer Version:

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



foggy mountains

The result of your fifty or sixty years of religious reading in the four words: 'Be just and good,' is that in which all our enquiries must end.

--Thomas Jefferson

green leafed tree on body of water under starry sky

It is every Americans' right and obligation to read and interpret the Constitution for himself.

--Thomas Jefferson

blue sky with white clouds

I think by far the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowlege among the people. no other sure foundation can be devised for the preservation of freedom, and happiness.

--Thomas Jefferson



pink and teal striped textile

The happiness of the domestic fireside is the first boon of Heaven; and it is well it is so, since it is that which is the lot of the mass of mankind.

--Thomas Jefferson

wide lake over sunset view

Newspapers ... serve as chimnies to carry off noxious vapors and smoke.

--Thomas Jefferson

woman in black tank top and gray leggings doing yoga

So inscrutable is the arrangement of causes and consequences in this world, that a two-penny duty on tea, unjustly imposed in a sequestered part of it, changes the condition of all its inhabitants.

--Thomas Jefferson

pink rose in close up photography

The constitution of the United States is the result of the collected wisdom of our country.

--Thomas Jefferson

man in blue jacket and blue pants carrying black and red backpack standing on snow covered

Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.

--Thomas Jefferson

landscape photography of brown mountains

I hope that we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.

--Thomas Jefferson

black and white duck on brown wooden dock during daytime

If the body be feeble, the mind will not be strong.

--Thomas Jefferson


blue parrot standing on brown tree branch

It is while we are young that the habit of industry is formed. If not then, it never is afterwards. The fortune of our lives therefore depends on employing well the short period of our youth.

--Thomas Jefferson

nebulas

The elective franchise, if guarded as the ark of our safety, will peaceably dissipate all combinations to subvert a Constitution, dictated by the wisdom, and resting on the will of the people.

--Thomas Jefferson

pink tulips in close up photography

A good cause is often injured more by ill-timed efforts of its friends than by the arguments of its enemies. Persuasion, perseverance and patience are the best advocates on questions depending on the will of others.

--Thomas Jefferson

green trees under blue sky at daytime

Money, not morality, is the principle commerce of civilized nations.

--Thomas Jefferson

water color palette on white surface

Nothing can be believed but what one sees, or has from an eye witness.

--Thomas Jefferson

selective focus photo of green snake plant

Those who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God.

--Thomas Jefferson

yellow petaled flower screenshot

History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government.

--Thomas Jefferson

tilt shift lens photo of sunflower

I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

--Thomas Jefferson

man smiling while facing other person

Truth between candid minds can never do harm.

--Thomas Jefferson


person wearing Apple watch

Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error.

--Thomas Jefferson

Longer Version:

Reason and free inquiry are the only effective agents against error. Give a loose to them, they will support the true religion by bringing every false one to their tribunal, to the test of their investigation. They are the natural enemies of error and error only. Had not the Roman government permitted free inquiry, Christianity could never have been introduced. Had not free inquiry been indulged at the era of the Reformation, the corruption of Christianity could not have been purged away.


A white stripe pattern made up of concrete facade ribs

The Constitution 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

focus photo of a hummingbird on leaf

The Giver of life gave it for happiness and not for wretchedness.

--Thomas Jefferson

body of water surrounded with plants under cloudy sky

The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others.

--Thomas Jefferson



pink

I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world and do not find in our particular superstition Christianity one redeeming feature.

--Thomas Jefferson



yellow painted wall

But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life and thanks to a benevolent arrangement of things, the greater part of life is sunshine.

--Thomas Jefferson

forest trees photograph

Difficulties indeed sometimes arise; but common sense and honest intentions will generally steer through them.

--Thomas Jefferson

swimming pool with stainless steel ladder

I have now the gloomy prospect of retiring from office loaded with serious debts, which will materially affect the tranquility of my retirement.

--Thomas Jefferson

blue sky with stars during night time

Music furnishes a delightful recreation for the hours of respite from the cares of the day, and lasts us through life.

--Thomas Jefferson

person wearing Apple watch

Where a new invention promises to be useful, it ought to be tried.

--Thomas Jefferson

lavender background

The most effective means of preventing tyranny is to illuminate, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large, and more especially to give them knowledge of those facts.

--Thomas Jefferson

round analog watch with black leather strap on top of white wooden surface

The diffusion of information and the arraignment of all abuses at the bar of public reason, I deem one of the essential principles of our government, and consequently one of those which ought to shape its administration.

--Thomas Jefferson

five silhouette of birds flying on sky

I cannot live without books.

--Thomas Jefferson

three person looking stars and milky way

The plough is to the farmer what the wand is to the sorcerer. Its effect is really like sorcery.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette photo of person holding flashlight under milk way

Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.

--Thomas Jefferson

grayscale photography of elephant

Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty.

--Thomas Jefferson

black mountain under blue sky during night time

Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.

--Thomas Jefferson


green and white bird on black wire during daytime

The world is indebted for all triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression.

--Thomas Jefferson

closeup photography of black and brown bird

A room without books is like a life without meaning.

--Thomas Jefferson

None

I am not among those who fear the people. They, and not the rich, are our dependence for continued freedom.

--Thomas Jefferson

pink and green flower painting

Gaming corrupts our disposition and teaches us a habit of hostility against all mankind.

--Thomas Jefferson


forest near mountain alps

Men of quality are not threatened by women of equality.

--Thomas Jefferson


blue

No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever.

--Thomas Jefferson

yellow textile

To take a single step beyond the boundaries specially drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible to definition.

--Thomas Jefferson

red blue yellow and red paint

My heart trembles when I reflect that God is just.

--Thomas Jefferson

long black haired woman smiling close-up photography

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

Longer Version:

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.


pink and red flowers

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.

--Thomas Jefferson

analog clock at 5:55

The opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction.

--Thomas Jefferson

white and red flower with green leaves

The idea is quite unfounded that on entering into society we give up any natural rights.

--Thomas Jefferson


rainbow

Creeds have been the bane of the Christian church ... made of Christendom a slaughter-house.

--Thomas Jefferson

pug lying on pet bed

There is not one redeeming feature in our superstition of Christianity. It has made one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites.

--Thomas Jefferson


orange moon during nighttime

Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions.

--Thomas Jefferson

flat lay photography of several hanging ornaments

Happiness is not being pained in body or troubled in mind.

--Thomas Jefferson

grassland landscape

Debt and revolution are inseparable as cause and effect.

--Thomas Jefferson


white ceramic pencil organizer on top of stack of books

The federal government is our servant, not our master.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette photo of mountain during night time

Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.

--Thomas Jefferson

red rose with droplets

Let us in education dream of an aristocracy of achievement arising out of a democracy of opportunity.

--Thomas Jefferson

green trees

As our enemies have found we can reason like men, so now let us show them we can fight like men also.

--Thomas Jefferson


black textile in close up photography

Preach, my dear Sir, a crusade against ignorance; establish and improve the law for educating the common people.

--Thomas Jefferson

green leaf in close up photography

An injured friend is the bitterest of foes.

--Thomas Jefferson

green pine trees near mountain under blue sky during daytime

To learn, you have to listen. To improve, you have to try.

--Thomas Jefferson

woman in black shirt walking on sidewalk near brown concrete wall partition

It is not only vain, but wicked, in a legislator to frame laws in opposition to the laws of nature, and to arm them with the terrors of death. This is truly creating crimes in order to punish them.

--Thomas Jefferson

boy wearing American flag print eyeglasses sticking his mouth open

Rebellion to tyranny is obedience to God.

--Thomas Jefferson

yellow and purple flower with white background

The religion-builders have so distorted and deformed the doctrines of Jesus, so muffled them in mysticism, fancies, and falsehoods.

--Thomas Jefferson

yellow and white color illustration

Nothing but good can result from an exchange of information and opinions between those whose circumstances and morals admit no doubt of the integrity of their views.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette of flower during sunset

We have already given in example one effectual check to the dog of war by transferring the power of letting him loose from the Executive to the Legislative body.

--Thomas Jefferson

pink and white roses on white surface

The declaration that religious faith shall be unpunished does not give immunity to criminal acts dictated by religious error.

--Thomas Jefferson

shallow focus photography of brown and black bird

Never spend your money before you have earned it.

--Thomas Jefferson


white textile in close up photography

It is strangely absurd to suppose that a million of human beings, collected together, are not under the same moral laws which bind each of them separately.

--Thomas Jefferson

blue and white abstract painting

The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.

--Thomas Jefferson

green ceramic mug on wooden desk

Let our countrymen know that the people alone can protect us against these evils of misgovernment.

--Thomas Jefferson

empty gray floor beside pool

The art of governing consists simply of being honest, exercising common sense, following principle, and doing what is right and just.

--Thomas Jefferson

purple petaled flower

The excellence of every government is its adaptation to the state of those to be governed by it.

--Thomas Jefferson

snow covered mountain during daytime

Educate and inform the whole 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

person standing on rock beside body of water between green trees

We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.

--Thomas Jefferson

white oriental lily flower

The patient, treated on the fashionable theory, sometimes gets well in spite of the medicine.

--Thomas Jefferson

man in black and white striped shirt sitting on brown rock during daytime

Difference of opinion leads to inquiry, and inquiry to the truth.

--Thomas Jefferson

white wall paint beside white wall

Neither Pagan nor Mahamedan nor Jew ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the Commonwealth because of his religion. -quoting John Locke's argument.

--Thomas Jefferson

pink flowers in vase

Of all the cankers of human happiness none corrodes with so silent, yet so baneful an influence, as indolence.

--Thomas Jefferson


blue painted wall with white paint

Agriculture, manufactures, commerce and navigation, the four pillars of our prosperity, are the most thriving when left most free to individual enterprise.

--Thomas Jefferson


landscape photography of horizon

Let those flatter who fear; it is not an American art .

--Thomas Jefferson

beach during daytime

I hold the precepts of Jesus as delivered by Himself, to be the most pure, benevolent and sublime which have ever been preached to man.

--Thomas Jefferson

closeup photo of bird beside purple petal flowers

The Declaration of Independence ... is the declaratory charter of our rights, and the rights of man.

--Thomas Jefferson


plain background

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived; but as long as the presses can be protected, we may trust to them for light.

--Thomas Jefferson

yellow textile

The metaphysical insanities of Athanasius, of Loyola, and of Calvin, are, to my understanding, mere lapses into polytheism, differing from paganism only by being more unintelligible.

--Thomas Jefferson

brown and white butterfly on purple petaled flower

Christianity is the most ... perverted system that ever shone on man.

--Thomas Jefferson

fine trees waving

For an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.

--Thomas Jefferson


man riding on white horse on the hill

The best hemp and the best tobacco grow on the same kind of soil. The former article is of the first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country. The latter, never useful.

--Thomas Jefferson



man sitting on wooden bench near black metal railings

Against us are all timid men who prefer the calm of despotism to the boisterous sea of liberty We are likely to preserve the liberty we have obtained only by unremitting labors and perils.

--Thomas Jefferson

round black clock on linen

Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.

--Thomas Jefferson

Longer Version:

Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far. The Europeans value themselves on having subdued the horse to the uses of man; but I doubt whether we have not lost more than we have gained, by the use of this animal.


yellow flower field during sunset

A candle loses nothing when it lights another candle.

--Thomas Jefferson

person sleeping on gray gang chair

Had the doctrines of Jesus been preached always as pure as they came from his lips, the whole civilized world would now have been Christians.

--Thomas Jefferson

shallow focus photography of purple flower

If a due participation of office is a matter of right, how are vacancies to be obtained? Those by death are few; by resignation, none.

--Thomas Jefferson

shallow focus photography of hand with red paint

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

blue rose

The boys of the rising generation are to be the men of the next, and the sole guardians of the principles we deliver over to them.

--Thomas Jefferson

brown grass field during daytime

Politics is such a torment that I advise everyone I love not to mix with it.

--Thomas Jefferson


black and white duck on brown wooden dock during daytime

What i value more than all things, good humor.

--Thomas Jefferson

gray concrete road between trees

Ignorance is a poor tool in a battle of wits.

--Thomas Jefferson

blue sky with stars during night time

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



silhouette of man looking towards left

Force is the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism.

--Thomas Jefferson

blue and black abstract painting

One travels more usefully when alone, because he reflects more.

--Thomas Jefferson

pink flower

It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.

--Thomas Jefferson

Longer Version:

It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.


brown and white abstract painting

My religious reading has long been confined to the moral branch of religion, which is the same in all religions; while in that branch which consists of dogmas, all differ.

--Thomas Jefferson


man sitting on concrete brick with opened laptop on his lap

When two parties make a compact, there results to each a power of compelling the other to execute it.

--Thomas Jefferson



person holding green plant during daytime

Never trouble another for what you can do for yourself.

--Thomas Jefferson

shallow focus photography of orange flower

To penetrate and dissipate these clouds of darkness, the general mind must be strengthened by education.

--Thomas Jefferson

black, purple, and orange basketball court beside concrete buildings at daytime

Men as well as rivers grow crooked by following the path of least resistance.

--Thomas Jefferson

white smoke

Revenue on the consumption of foreign articles is paid cheerfully by those who can afford to add foreign luxuries to domestic comforts.

--Thomas Jefferson



brown grass field during daytime

When you abandon freedom to achieve security, you lose both and deserve neither.

--Thomas Jefferson

pink cherry blossom tree under blue sky during daytime

War has been avoided from a due sense of the miseries, and the demoralization it produces, and of the superior blessings of a state of peace and friendship with all mankind.

--Thomas Jefferson


white wooden hut during daytime

History, in general, only informs us of what bad government is.

--Thomas Jefferson

rainbow desert

Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.

--Thomas Jefferson

green and white painted wall

When right, I shall often be thought wrong by those whose positions will not command a view of the whole ground.

--Thomas Jefferson

pink and white light illustration

It is a principle that the right to a thing gives a right to the means without which it could not be used, that is to say, that the means follow their end.

--Thomas Jefferson



man in blue jacket and blue pants carrying black and red backpack standing on snow covered

Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction.

--Thomas Jefferson

purple petaled flower

The best principles of our republic secure to all its citizens a perfect equality of rights.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette of a person during sunset

As new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times.

--Thomas Jefferson

fawn pug on bed

An informed citizenry is at the heart of a dynamic democracy.

--Thomas Jefferson


clear hour glass

The issue for patents for new discovers has given a spring to invention beyond my conception.

--Thomas Jefferson

aerial's photo of metropolitan during night time\

Law is often the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette photo of mountain during night time

If the obstacles of bigotry and priestcraft can be surmounted, we may hope that common sense will suffice to do everything else.

--Thomas Jefferson

blue and red bird during daytime

Knowledge indeed is a desirable, a lovely possession.

--Thomas Jefferson


autumn leaves on body of water

The cost of freedom is eternal vigilance.

--Thomas Jefferson

mountains under orange kies

If the freedom of religion, guaranteed to us by law in theory, can ever rise in practice under the overbearing inquisition of public opinion, then and only then will truthprevail over fanaticism.

--Thomas Jefferson

blue mountains at daytime

The ultimate arbiter is the people of the Union.

--Thomas Jefferson

person wearing black top

We never repent of having eaten too little.

--Thomas Jefferson

pink flower

The Governor would serve a five-year term and be ineligible for reelection.

--Thomas Jefferson

bonfire in forest

The sentiments of men are known not only by what they receive, but what they reject also.

--Thomas Jefferson

silver bell alarm clock

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.

--Thomas Jefferson

blue flower in close up photography

Amplification is the vice of modern oratory.

--Thomas Jefferson

woman standing on sunflower field

Religions are all alike- founded upon fables and mythologies.

--Thomas Jefferson

yellow and black striped background

But every state, says an inquisitor, has established some religion. No two, say I, have established the same. Is this a proof of the infallibility of establishments?

--Thomas Jefferson

None

To unequal privileges among members of the same society the spirit of our nation is, with one accord, adverse.

--Thomas Jefferson

landscape photography of mountains with cloudy skies during golden hour

None but an armed nation can dispense with a standing army.

--Thomas Jefferson

ice berg

As you are entered with the class of Nat. philosophy, give to it the hours of lecture, but devote all your other time to Mathematics, avoiding company as the bane of all progress.

--Thomas Jefferson

white stars in the sky during night time

The merchants will manage commerce the better, the more they are left free to manage for themselves.

--Thomas Jefferson

toddlers standing outdoors

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

person looking at the milkyway

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


silhouette of trees during sunset

A rigid economy of the public contributions and absolute interdiction of all useless expenses will go far towards keeping the government honest and unoppressive.

--Thomas Jefferson



fan of 1 US dollar banknotes and coins on beige surface

Taste cannot be controlled by law.

--Thomas Jefferson

Longer Version:

Taste cannot be controlled by law. We must resist at all costs any attempt to regulate our individual freedoms and to legislate our personal moralities.


pink and white roses on white surface

I have given up newspapers in exchange for Tacitus and Thucydides, for Newton and Euclid; and I find myself much the happier.

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette photography of trees and sky

There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents.

--Thomas Jefferson

bonfire on focus photography

Without books, I would certainly die.

--Thomas Jefferson

person on road at sunset

We discover in the gospels a groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstition, fanaticism and fabrication .

--Thomas Jefferson

silhouette of woman during sunset

Never was so much false arithmetic employed on any subject, as that which has been employed to persuade nations that it is in their interest to go to war.

--Thomas Jefferson

We wish you a perfect day!