Thomas Jefferson Quotes & Wallpapers

Thomas Jefferson
Total Quotes: 2107

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

I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government; I mean an additional article taking from the Federal Government the power of borrowing. Thomas Jefferson

The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first. Thomas Jefferson

with respect to the distribution of your time the following is what I should approve. from 8. to 10 o'clock practise music. from 10. to 1. dance one day & draw another. from 1. to 2. draw on the day you dance, and write a letter next day. from 3. to 4. read French. from 4. to 5. exercise... Thomas Jefferson

Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty and interests by the most lasting bands. Thomas Jefferson

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

Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination. Thomas Jefferson

Let us, then, fellow citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled, we have yet gained little if we counternance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of a bitter and bloody persecutions. Thomas Jefferson

Civil officials have no business meddling in private religious affairs. Thomas Jefferson

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

No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions. Thomas Jefferson

I... [am] convinced [man] has no natural right in opposition to his social duties. Thomas Jefferson

The man who loves his country on its own account, and not merely for its trappings of interest or power, can never be divorced for it, can never refuse to come forward when he finds that she is engaged in dangers which he has the means of warding off. Thomas Jefferson

Most codes extend their definitions of treason to acts not really against one's country. They do not distinguish between acts against the government, and acts against the oppressions of the government. The latter are virtues, yet have furnished more victims to the executioner than the former. Real treasons are rare; oppressions frequent. The unsuccessful strugglers against tyranny have been the chief martyrs of treason laws in all countries. Thomas Jefferson

A government regulating itself by what is wise and just for the many, uninfluenced by the local and selfish views of the few who direct their affairs, has not been seen, perhaps, on earth. Or if it existed for a moment at the birth of ours, it would not be easy to fix the term of its continuance. Still, I believe it does exist here in a greater degree than anywhere else; and for its growth and continuance... I offer sincere prayers. Thomas Jefferson

It [appears] that however certain forms of government are better calculated than others to protect individuals in the free exercise of their natural rights, and are at the same time themselves better guarded against degeneracy, yet experience [has] shown that, even under the best forms, those entrusted with power have, in time and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny. Thomas Jefferson

Instead of an aristocracy of wealth, of more harm and danger than benefit to society, to make an opening for the aristocracy of virtue and talent, which nature has wisely provided for the direction of the interests of society and scattered with equal hand through all its conditions, was deemed essential to a well-ordered republic. Thomas Jefferson

The reflections that the boys of this age are to be the men of the next; that they should be prepared to receive the holy charge which we are cherishing to deliver over to them; that in establishing an institution of wisdom for them, we secure it to all our future generations; that in fulfilling this duty, we bring home to our own bosoms the sweet consolation of seeing our sons rising under a luminous tuition, to destinies of high promise; these are considerations which will occur to all. Thomas Jefferson

[If] the nature of ... government [were] a subordination of the civil to the ecclesiastical power, I [would] consider it as desperate for long years to come. Their steady habits [will] exclude the advances of information, and they [will] seem exactly where they [have always been]. And there [the] clergy will always keep them if they can. [They] will follow the bark of liberty only by the help of a tow-rope. Thomas Jefferson

I trust there is not a young man now living in the United States who will not die a Unitarian. Thomas Jefferson

Of publishing a book on religion, my dear sir, I never had an idea. I should as soon think of writing for the reformation of Bedlam, as of the world of religious sects. Of these there must be, at least, ten thousand, every individual of every one of which believes all wrong but his own. Thomas Jefferson

I believe in both a creative and personal God, a divinely ordered universe, that man has an innate moral sense, and that Jesus was a great moral teacher, perhaps the greatest the world has witnessed. Thomas Jefferson

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

[O]ur rules can have authority over such natural rights only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. Thomas Jefferson

I duly acknowledge that I have gone through a long life, with fewer circumstances of affliction than are the lot of most men. Uninterrupted health, a competence for every reasonable want, usefulness to my fellow-citizens, a good portion of their esteem, no complaint against the world which has sufficiently honored me, and above all, a family which has blessed me by their affections, and never by their conduct given me a moment's pain. Thomas Jefferson

The colleges of Edinburgh and Geneva as seminaries of science, are considered as the two eyes of Europe. While Great Britain and America give the preference to the former, all other countries give it to the latter. Thomas Jefferson

I consider the doctrines of Jesus as delivered by himself to contain the outlines of the sublimest system of morality that has ever been taught but I hold in the most profound detestation and execration the corruptions of it which have been invented... Thomas Jefferson

The possession of facts is knowledge; the use of them is wisdom. Thomas Jefferson

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

The worst day in a man's life is when he sits down and begins thinking about how he can get something for nothing. Thomas Jefferson

The people of every country are the only safe guardians of their own rights. Thomas Jefferson

When angry count 10 before you speak. If very angry 100. Thomas Jefferson

For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead.... Thomas Jefferson

For themselves they fought, for themselves they conquered, and for themselves alone they have they have right to hold. Thomas Jefferson

It is better to tolerate the rare instance of a parent refusing to let his child be educated, than to shock the common feelings and ideas by forcible asportation and education of the infant against the will of the father. Thomas Jefferson

The executive, in our government is not the sole, it is scarcely the principle, object of my jealousy. The tyranny of the legislature is the most formidable dread at present and will be for many years. That of the executive will come in its turn, but it will be at a remote period. Thomas Jefferson

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

Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free. Nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government. Nature, habit, opinion has drawn indelible lines of distinction between them. Thomas Jefferson

If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake. Thomas Jefferson

Each generation has a right to choose for itself the form of government it believes most promotive of its happiness. Thomas Jefferson

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

If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy. Thomas Jefferson

But every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all republicans - we are federalists. Thomas Jefferson

I thought the work would be very innocent, and one which might be confined to the reason of any man; not likely to be much read if let alone, but, if persecuted, it will be vindication of his rights to buy, and to read what he pleases. Thomas Jefferson

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 truth, prevail over fanaticism. Thomas Jefferson

Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough is big enough to take everything you have... The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases. Thomas Jefferson

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Thomas Jefferson

Were we to act but in cases where no contrary opinion of a lawyer can be had, we should never act. Thomas Jefferson

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

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

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

I have sometimes asked myself whether my country is the better for my having lived at all? I do not know that it is. I have been the instrument of doing the following things; but they would have been done by others; some of them, perhaps, a little better. Thomas Jefferson

Lake George is without comparison, the most beautiful water I ever saw; formed by a contour of mountains into a basin... finely interspersed with islands, its water limpid as crystal, and the mountain sides covered with rich groves... down to the water-edge: here and there precipices of rock to checker the scene and save it from monotony. Thomas Jefferson

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

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

The general (federal) government will tend to monarchy, which will fortify itself from day to day, instead of working its own cures. Thomas Jefferson

The law of self-preservation is higher than written law. Thomas Jefferson

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

The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the dispensation of the public moneys. Thomas Jefferson

I suppose, indeed, that in public life, a man whose political principles have any decided character and who has energy enough to give them effect must always expect to encounter political hostility from those of adverse principles. Thomas Jefferson

The natural aristocracy I consider as the most precious gift of nature for the instruction, the trusts, and government of society. And indeed it would have been inconsistent in creation to have formed man for the social state, and not to have provided virtue and wisdom enough to manage the concerns of the society. May we not even say that that form of government is the best which provides the most - for a pure selection of these natural aristoi into the offices of government? Thomas Jefferson

It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please . . . . Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. It [the Constitution] was intended to lace them up straightly within the enumerated powers and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect. Thomas Jefferson

The example of changing a constitution by assembling the wise men of the state, instead of assembling armies, will be worth as much to the world as the former examples we had give them. The constitution, too, which was the result of our deliberation, is unquestionably the wisest ever yet presented to men. Thomas Jefferson

During the course of administration, and in order to disturb it, the artillery of the press has been levelled against us, charged with whatsoever its licentiousness could devise or dare. These abuses of an institution so important to freedom and science are deeply to be regretted, inasmuch as they tend to lessen its usefulness and to sap its safety. Thomas Jefferson

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

I could think of no worse example for nations abroad, who for the first time were trying to put free electoral procedures into effect, than that of the United States wrangling over the results of our presidential election, and even suggesting that the presidency itself could be stolen by thievery at the ballot box. Thomas Jefferson

Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. Thomas Jefferson

Nobody can acquire honor by doing what is wrong. Thomas Jefferson

Man was destined for society. His morality, therefore, was to be formed to this object. He was endowed with a sense of right and wrong merely relative to this. This sense is as much a part of his nature, as the sense of hearing, seeing, feeling; it is the true foundation of morality.... The moral sense, or conscience, is as much a part of man as his leg or arm. It is given to all human beings in a stronger or weaker degree, as force of members is given them in a greater or less degree. It may be strengthened by exercise, as may any particular limb of the body. Thomas Jefferson

It look like the lord just work for wite folks cause ever sens i wasn nothin but a litle boy i been on my on haulin water to the fiel on that ol water cart wit all them dime bukets an that dipper just hittin an old dorthy just trottin and trottin an me up their hittin her wit that rope... Thomas Jefferson

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