Thomas Jefferson Quotes

Most popular Thomas Jefferson Quotes

Merchants have no country.
— Thomas Jefferson
Your best takes your time.
— Thomas Jefferson
I cannot live without books.
— Thomas Jefferson

books

I can not live without books.
— Thomas Jefferson
Delay is preferable to error.

delay

Power is not alluring to pure minds.
— Thomas Jefferson

power

My only fear is that I may live too long.
— Thomas Jefferson

old age

Always take things by their smooth handle.
— Thomas Jefferson
Never spend your money before you have it.
— Thomas Jefferson
Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
— Thomas Jefferson
Information is the currency of democracies.
— Thomas Jefferson
We never repent of having eaten too little.
— Thomas Jefferson

food

Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.
— Thomas Jefferson
Speeches measured by the hour, die by the hour.
— Thomas Jefferson
Nobody can acquire honor by doing what is wrong.
— Thomas Jefferson
Speeches measured by the hour die with the hour.
— Thomas Jefferson

oratory

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

honesty

Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.
— Thomas Jefferson
Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
— Thomas Jefferson
Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds.
— Thomas Jefferson

bigotry

The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave.
— Thomas Jefferson

freedom

Your own reason is the only oracle given you by heaven.
— Thomas Jefferson

reason

Happiness is not being pained in body or troubled in mind.
— Thomas Jefferson
The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.
— Thomas Jefferson
The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money.
— Thomas Jefferson

thoughts

It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.
— Thomas Jefferson
I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
— Thomas Jefferson

hard work luck

Every difference of opinion is not a difference in principle.
— Thomas Jefferson
How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened.
— Thomas Jefferson

worry

Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.
— Thomas Jefferson
Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.
— Thomas Jefferson

government media

When you come to the end of your rope, tie knot in it and hang on.
— Thomas Jefferson
The earth is given as a common stock for man to labor and live on.
— Thomas Jefferson

earth

Where the press is free, and everyone is able to read, all is safe.
— Thomas Jefferson
The main object of all science is the freedom and happiness of man.
— Thomas Jefferson

science

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.

future moving forward

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

fake news journalism media

In every country and every age, the priest had been hostile to Liberty.
— Thomas Jefferson

clergy

A single zealot may commence persecutor, and better men be his victims.
An honest heart being the first blessing, a knowing head is the second.
— Thomas Jefferson
It is a part of the American character to consider nothing as desperate.
— Thomas Jefferson

America

I believe that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another.
— Thomas Jefferson
Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.
— Thomas Jefferson

dictatorship freedom

Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.
— Thomas Jefferson
Money, not morality, is the principle of commerce and commercial nations.
— Thomas Jefferson

money

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

duty

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

helping others

It is in our lives, and not from our words, that our religion must be read.
— Thomas Jefferson

religion

A man who qualifies himself well for his calling, never fails of employment.
— Thomas Jefferson
Never buy what you do not want, because it is cheap; it will be dear to you.
— Thomas Jefferson
I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere.
— Thomas Jefferson

revolution

The moral sense or conscience, is as much a part of man as his leg or his arm.
— Thomas Jefferson

morals

When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.
— Thomas Jefferson
But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life.
— Thomas Jefferson

friendship

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

pleasure

When a man assumes a public trust he should consider himself as public property.
— Thomas Jefferson

politicians

I'm a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.
— Thomas Jefferson
When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property.
— Thomas Jefferson
I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.
— Thomas Jefferson
I never saw an instance of one of two disputants convincing the other by argument.
— Thomas Jefferson

arguments

There is no truth existing which I fear, or would wish unknown to the whole world.
— Thomas Jefferson
It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.
— Thomas Jefferson

government

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

communication

An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens.
— Thomas Jefferson
Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.
— Thomas Jefferson

politics power

No man will ever carry out of the Presidency the reputation which carried him into it.
— Thomas Jefferson
Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, and the price of wisdom is eternal thought.
— Thomas Jefferson
It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation, which give happiness.
— Thomas Jefferson

wealth

It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquillity and occupation, which give happiness.
— Thomas Jefferson

happiness

He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it the second time.
— Thomas Jefferson
That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.
— Thomas Jefferson
It is the trade of lawyers to question everything, yield nothing, and to talk by the hour.
— Thomas Jefferson
Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, — entangling alliances with none.
— Thomas Jefferson
The patient, treated on the fashionable theory, sometimes gets well in spite of the medicine.
— Thomas Jefferson

health

There is much vice and misery in the world, I know; but more virtue and happiness, I believe.
— Thomas Jefferson
I hate to stand here and try your patience like this, but either I'm dead right or I'm crazy!
— Thomas Jefferson

opinions

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

freedom

A mind always employed is always happy. This is the true secret, the grand recipe, for felicity.
— Thomas Jefferson
I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.

slavery

We confide in our strength, without boasting of it; we respect that of others, without fearing it.
— Thomas Jefferson
I deem it the duty of every man to devote a certain portion of his income for charitable purposes.
— Thomas Jefferson
It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing than to believe what is wrong.
— Thomas Jefferson

beliefs

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

peace

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

tyranny

What has been the effect of religious coercion? To make half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites.
— Thomas Jefferson

religion

Let the farmer forever be honored in his calling, for they who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God.
— Thomas Jefferson

farming

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

power

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 care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.
— Thomas Jefferson
No knowledge can be more satisfactory to a man than that of his own frame, its parts, their functions and actions.
— Thomas Jefferson
The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees, in every object, only the traits which favor that theory.
— Thomas Jefferson

beliefs

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
— Thomas Jefferson
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.  It is its natural manure.
— Thomas Jefferson

freedom

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

friendship

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

religion

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

tyranny

My theory has always been, that if we are to dream, the flatteries of hope are as cheap, and pleasanter, than the gloom of despair.
— Thomas Jefferson

hope optimism

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

pain

It is in the love of one's family only that heartfelt happiness is known.  I feel it when we are all together beyond what can be imagined.
— Thomas Jefferson

family

The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that ... it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.
— Thomas Jefferson

power

Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.
— Thomas Jefferson

asking questions God reason

The superiority of chocolate, both for health and nourishment, will soon give it the same preference over tea and coffee in America, which it has in Spain.

chocolate

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

friendship

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

ideas instruction

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

power tyranny

Whenever you are to do a thing, though it can never be known but to yourself, ask yourself how you would act were all the world looking at you, and act accordingly.
— Thomas Jefferson
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

health learning

I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way.
— Thomas Jefferson

knowledge

A patient pursuit of facts, and cautious combination and comparison of them, is the drudgery to which man is subjected by his Maker, if he wishes to attain sure knowledge.
— Thomas Jefferson

discovery science

An association of men who will not quarrel with one another is a thing which never yet existed, from the greatest confederacy of nations down to a town meeting or a vestry.
— Thomas Jefferson

quarrels

Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.
— Thomas Jefferson

journalism

Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence.
— Thomas Jefferson

America power

Experience declares that man is the only animal which devours its own kind; for I can apply no milder term to the governments of Europe, and to the general prey of the rich upon the poor.
— Thomas Jefferson

mankind man the animal wealth

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

America capitalism democracy

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

integrity

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.  It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.
— Thomas Jefferson

rebels

Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.
— Thomas Jefferson

conscience freedom happiness health

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
— Thomas Jefferson
We 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

happiness pursuit rights

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
With your talents and industry, with science, and that stedfast [sic] honesty which eternally pursues right, regardless of consequences, you may promise yourself every thing—but health, without which there is no happiness.

happiness health

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 interest by the most lasting bands.
— Thomas Jefferson

farming

A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation.
— Thomas Jefferson

law rebels

Whether the succeeding generation is to be more virtuous than their predecessors, I cannot say; but I am sure they will have more worldly wisdom, and enough, I hope, to know that honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
— Thomas Jefferson

virtue wisdom

For the reality of these [guiding] principles I appeal to the true fountains of evidence, the head and heart of every rational and honest man. It is there nature has written her moral laws, and where every man may read them for himself.

head and heart

All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.
— Thomas Jefferson
The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere.
— Thomas Jefferson

government rebels

When we see ourselves in a situation which must be endured and gone through, it is best to make up our minds to it, meet it with firmness, and accommodate everything to it in the best way practicable. This lessens the evil; while fretting and fuming only serves to increase your own torments.
— Thomas Jefferson

perseverance

I agree with you that there is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents. Formerly bodily powers gave place ... There is also an artificial aristocracy founded on wealth and birth, without either virtue or talents; for with these it would belong to the first class.
— Thomas Jefferson
He who permits himself to tell a lie once finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him.  This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.
— Thomas Jefferson

lying

I am ... mortified to be told that, in the United States of America ... a question about the sale of a book can be carried before the civil magistrate. Is this then our freedom of religion? And are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? ... Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule for what we are to read? It is an insult to our citizens to question whether they are rational beings or not.
— Thomas Jefferson

censorship