Thomas Jefferson was known as the Founding Father and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. He later became the second Vice President serving John Adams and then become 3rd president of the United States. He greatly assisted the movement of the United States to break away from Great Britain and form a new nation.
Thomas Jefferson Best Quotes
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.
For a people who are free and who mean to remain so a well-organized and armed militia is their best security.
He who knows best, knows how little he knows.
Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very fast.
Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.
In truth politeness is artificial good humor it covers the natural want of it and ends by rendering habitual a substitute nearly equivalent to the real virtue.
I find that he is happiest of whom the world says least good or bad.
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.
The good opinion of mankind like the lever of Archimedes with the given fulcrum moves the world.
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 and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.
The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only object of good government.
I believe that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another.
It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good.
Thomas Jefferson Quotes on Government, Society, Politics, Power, and Freedom
Thomas Jefferson Government Quote
The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind.
The second office in the government is honorable and easy the first is but a splendid misery.
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.
The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.
Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he then be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.
That government is the strongest of which every man feels himself a part.
So confident am I in the intentions as well as wisdom of the government that I shall always be satisfied that what is not done either cannot or ought not to be done.
No government ought to be without censors and where the press is free no one ever will.
The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.
History in general only informs us of what bad government is.
Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government.
I own that I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.
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.
Whenever the people are well-informed they can be trusted with their own government.
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.
My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.
A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government and what no just government should refuse or rest on inference.
Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.
It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.
Thomas Jefferson Society Quote
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 a wholesome discretion the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion.
Truth is certainly a branch of morality and a very important one to society.
Thomas Jefferson Politics Quote
Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices a rottenness begins in his conduct.
I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy as cause for withdrawing from a friend.
Politics is such a torment that I advise everyone I love not to mix with it.
Thomas Jefferson Power Quote
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.
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.
Power is not alluring to pure minds.
Thomas Jefferson Freedom Quote
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 Quotes on Happiness, Hope, Imagination, Inspiration, Peace, Attitude, and Beauty
Thomas Jefferson Happiness Quote
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.
It is neither wealth nor splendor but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.
Happiness is not being pained in body or troubled in mind.
Thomas Jefferson Hope Quote
I hope our wisdom will grow with our power and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be.
One loves to possess arms though they hope never to have occasion for them.
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 Imagination Quote
The moment a person forms a theory his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory.
Thomas Jefferson Inspirational Quote
The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money.
Thomas Jefferson Peace Quote
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 Attitude Quote
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 Beauty Quote
Wisdom I know is social. She seeks her fellows. But Beauty is jealous and illy bears the presence of a rival.
Thomas Jefferson Quotes on Men, Time, Money, Life, and Friendship
Thomas Jefferson Men Quote
There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents.
Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.
As our enemies have found we can reason like men so now let us show them we can fight like men also.
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.
I have no ambition to govern men it is a painful and thankless office.
Thomas Jefferson Time Quote
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
Thomas Jefferson Money Quote
Money not morality is the principle commerce of civilized nations.
Thomas Jefferson Life Quote
Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house for hundreds of years. It is not then an article of 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 Friendship Quote
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.
Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.
Friendship is but another name for an alliance with the follies and the misfortunes of others. Our own share of miseries is sufficient: why enter then as volunteers into those of another?
Peace commerce and honest friendship with all nations entangling alliances with none.
Thomas Jefferson Quotes on Trust, Truth, Motivation, Knowledge, Wisdom, Courage, Dreams and Education
Thomas Jefferson Trust Quote
When a man assumes a public trust he should consider himself a public property.
Thomas Jefferson Truth Quote
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 Motivation Quote
Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.
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 Knowledge Quote
He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.
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 Wisdom Quote
Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
Thomas Jefferson Courage Quote
One man with courage is a majority
Thomas Jefferson Dreams Quote
I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
Thomas Jefferson Education Quote
To penetrate and dissipate these clouds of darkness the general mind must be strengthened by education.
Thomas Jefferson Quotes on War, Anger, and Fear
Thomas Jefferson War Quote
It is our duty still to endeavor to avoid war but if it shall actually take place no matter by whom brought on we must defend ourselves. If our house be on fire without inquiring whether it was fired from within or without we must try to extinguish it.
I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind.
The most successful war seldom pays for its losses.
I have seen enough of one war never to wish to see another.
War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong and multiplies instead of indemnifying losses.
Thomas Jefferson Anger Quote
When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry count to one hundred.
Thomas Jefferson Fear Quote
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.
I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master.
There is not a truth existing which I fear… or would wish unknown to the whole world.
My only fear is that I may live too long. This would be a subject of dread to me.
When the people fear the government there is tyranny. When the government fears the people there is liberty.
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.
Thomas Jefferson Quotes on Nature, Fitness, Travel, Experience and Change
Thomas Jefferson Nature Quote
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.
Thomas Jefferson Travel Quote
One travels more usefully when alone because he reflects more.
Thomas Jefferson Fitness Quote
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 Change Quote
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 Experience Quote
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 Quotes on Religion and God
Thomas Jefferson Religion Quote
It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read.
Difference of opinion is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a Censor – over each other.
Thomas Jefferson God Quote
If God is just I tremble for my country.
It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.
The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time.
I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just that his justice cannot sleep forever.
I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.