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Quotes By Thomas Jefferson

Date of Birth: April 13, 1743    Date of Death: July 4, 1826

Thomas Jefferson is the author of the Declaration of Independence, 1776.  He served as the third president of the United States of America from 1801-1809.  Highly intelligent, he spoke five languages.  At Jefferson’s request The United States Congress passed the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves, which was then signed by Thomas Jefferson and implemented on January 1, 1808.  Some historians have thought of him as one of the greatest presidents of all time.



I cannot live without books.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


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


Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


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


I steer my bark with hope in my heart, leaving fear astern.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


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


Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


Those who hammer their guns into plows, will plow for those who do not.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


The genuine and simple religion of Jesus will one day be restored: such as it was preached and practiced by Himself.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


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


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


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


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


If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


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


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


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


The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


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


Governments constantly choose between telling lies and fighting wars, with the end result always being the same. One will always lead to the other.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


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


Experience has shown, 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


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


Information is the currency of democracy.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


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


Educate and inform the whole mass of the people...they are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


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


The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


The most truthful part of a newspaper is the advertisements.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


Every day is lost in which we do not learn something useful. Man has no nobler or more valuable possession than time.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent they conquered.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


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


A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as a sorry state as the souls who live under tyranny.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


The Democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time, who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done, if we are always doing.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


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


Coffee - the favorite drink of the civilized world.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


One man with courage is a majority.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


A great deal of love given to a few is better than a little to many.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


A little rebellion is a good thing.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


Occasionally the tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


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


Good wine is a necessity of life for me.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


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


I have the consolation of having added nothing to my private fortune during my public service, and of retiring with hands clean as they are empty.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


The art of life is the art of avoiding pain.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


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


Peace and abstinence from European interferences are our objects, and so will continue while the present order of things in America remain uninterrupted.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


With your talents and industry, with science, and that steadfast honesty, which eternally pursues right, regardless of consequences, you may promise yourself everything but health, without which there is no happiness.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of Constitutional power.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


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


I never told my own religion nor scrutinized that of another. I never attempted to make a convert, nor wished to change another's creed. I am satisfied that yours must be an excellent religion to have produced a life of such exemplary virtue and correctness. For it is in our lives, and not from our words, that our religion must be judged.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.  ~ Thomas Jefferson


I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.  ~ Thomas Jefferson



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