Authors - Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 - July 4, 1826) was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence (1776) and the third President of the United States (1801 - 1809). At the beginning of the American Revolution, Jefferson served in the Continental Congress, representing Virginia. He then served as a wartime Governor of Virginia (1779 - 1781). Just after the war ended, from mid-1784 Jefferson served as a diplomat, stationed in Paris, initially as a commissioner to help negotiate commercial treaties. - Wikipedia
It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.
Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.
Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
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.
Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle.
History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.
I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
I have ever deemed it more honorable and more profitable, too, to set a good example than to follow a bad one.
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.
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.
The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.
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.
When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, a hundred.
The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.
I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations -- entangling alliances with none.
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.
I never believed there was one code of morality for a public and another for a private man.
A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt...If the game runs sometime 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.
I know of 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 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.
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.
I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.
The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to.
The government is best which governs least.
The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.
If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.
Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.
It is part of the American character to consider nothing as desperate - to surmount every difficulty by resolution and contrivance.
Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.
Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.
It was by the sober sense of our citizens that we were safely and steadily conducted from monarchy to republicanism, and it is by the same agency alone we can be kept from falling back.
No man will ever bring out of the Presidency the reputation which carries him into it. To myself, personally, it brings nothing but increasing drudgery and daily loss of friends.
War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.
I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature.
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.
...a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.
There is no act, however virtuous, for which ingenuity may not find some bad motive.
Never fear the want of business. A man who qualifies himself well for his calling, never fails of employment.
I read no newspaper now but Ritchie's, and in that chiefly the advertisements, for they contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.
Do not bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook beneath it.
Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day.
Health is worth more than learning.
No instance exists of a person's writing two languages perfectly. That will always appear to be his native language which was most familiar to him in his youth.
Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the ark of the covenant, too sacred to be touched.
No government ought to be without censors & where the press is free, no one ever will.
We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.
But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.
When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.
I have no ambition to govern men; it is a painful and thankless office.
The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money.
Do not weep; do not wax indignant. Understand.
One travels more usefully when alone, because he reflects more.
It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation which give happiness.
Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.
Say nothing of my religion. It is known to God and myself alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life: if it has been honest and dutiful to society the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one.
Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very fast.
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.
Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.
When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.
Either you run the day or the day runs you.
Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.
I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. 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 will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.