Thomas Jefferson

3rd President of the United States; chief drafter of the Declaration of Independence; made the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and sent out the Lewis and Clark Expedition to explore it (1743-1826)

★ FAVORITE (17 votes)

Famous quotes by Thomas Jefferson:Sort:PopularA - Z

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.Rate it:
Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.Rate it:
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.Rate it:
The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.Rate it:
The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.Rate it:
...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.Rate it:
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 the constant companion of your walks.Rate it:
Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day.Rate it:
How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened.Rate it:
In matters of style, swim with the current in matters of principle, stand like a rock.Rate it:
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.Rate it:
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.Rate it:
Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.Rate it:
The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.Rate it:
The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But 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.Rate it:
We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable that all men are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.Rate it:
When a man has cast his longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.Rate it:
When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.Rate it:
Every man has two countries his own and France.Rate it:
When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.Rate it:
It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation, which give happiness.Rate it:
I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.Rate it:
It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.Rate it:
Never enter into dispute or argument with another. I never yet saw an instance of one of two disputants convincing the other by argument. I have seen many on their getting warm, becoming rude and shooting one another.Rate it:
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.Rate it:
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.Rate it:
Advertisements... contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.Rate it:
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.Rate it:
An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens.Rate it:
Be polite to all, but intimate with few.Rate it:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.Rate it:
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.Rate it:
Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independant, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty and interests by the most lasting bands. As long therefore as they can find emploiment in this line, I would not convert them into mariners, artisans, or any thing else. But our citizens will find emploiment in this line till their numbers, and of course their productions, become too great for the demand both internal and foreign.Rate it:
Delay is preferable to error.Rate it:
Democracy is 51% of the people taking away the rights of the other 49%.Rate it:
Determine never to be idle...It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.Rate it:
Difference of opinion is helpful in religion.Rate it:
Do not bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook beneath it.Rate it:
Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.Rate it:
Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.Rate it:
Friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life.Rate it:
Great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities.Rate it:
He is happiest of whom the world says least, good or bad.Rate it:
Health is worth more than learning.Rate it:
Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.Rate it:
Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom.Rate it:
I believe that justice is instinct and innate, the moral sense is as much a part of our constitution as the threat of feeling, seeing and hearing.Rate it:
I cannot live without books.Rate it:
I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.Rate it:
I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.Rate it:
I find the pain of a little censure, even when it is unfounded, is more acute than the pleasure of much praise.Rate it:
I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others.Rate it:
I have seen enough of one war never to wish to see another.Rate it:
I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.Rate it:
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.Rate it:
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.Rate it:
I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.Rate it:
I live for books.Rate it:
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.Rate it:
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.Rate it:
I steer my bark with hope in the head, leaving fear astern. My hopes indeed sometimes fail, but not oftener than the forebodings of the gloomy.Rate it:
If our house be on fire, without inquiring whether it was fired from within or without, we must try to extinguish it.Rate it:
If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.Rate it:
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.Rate it:
Information is the currency of democracy.Rate it:
Is it the Fourth?Rate it:
It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read.Rate it:
It is part of the American character to consider nothing as desperate - to surmount every difficulty by resolution and contrivance.Rate it:
Man is fed with fables through life, and leaves it in the belief he knows something of what has been passing, when in truth he has known nothing but what has passed under his own eye.Rate it:
My views and feelings (are) in favor of the abolition of war--and I hope it is practicable, by improving the mind and morals of society, to lessen the disposition to war; but of its abolition I despair.Rate it:
Never fear the want of business. A man who qualifies himself well for his calling, never fails of employment.Rate it:
Never spend your money before you have earned it.Rate it:
Never spend your money before you have it.Rate it:
Never trouble another for what you can do for yourself.Rate it:
No government ought to be without censors & where the press is free, no one ever will.Rate it:
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.Rate it:
No more good must be attempted than the people can bear.Rate it:
No nation was ever drunk when wine was cheap.Rate it:
Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.Rate it:
One man with courage is a majority.Rate it:
Our friendships are precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life;and thanks to a benevolent arrangement of things, the greater part is sunshine.Rate it:
Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press and that cannot be limited without being lost.Rate it:
Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.Rate it:
Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations entangling alliances with none.Rate it:
Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.Rate it:
Perfect happiness I believe was never intended by the deity to be the lot of any one of his creatures in this world; but that he has very much put in our power the nearness of our approaches to it, is what I as stedfastly believe.Rate it:
Question with boldness even the existance of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.Rate it:
Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there is one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded faith.Rate it:
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.Rate it:
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.Rate it:
Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for 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.Rate it:
Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for 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.Rate it:
Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence ... too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment.Rate it:
Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the ark of the covenant, too sacred to be touched.Rate it:
That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.Rate it:
That government is the strongest of which every man feels himself a part.Rate it:
The advertisement is the most truthful part of a newspaper.Rate it:
The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers wthout government, I should not hesitaRate it:
The bulk of mankind are schoolboys through life.Rate it:
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.Rate it:
The Greeks by their laws, and the Romans by the spirit of their people, took care to put into the hands of their rulers no such engine of oppression as a standing army. Their system was to make every man a soldier, and oblige him to repair to the standard of his country whenever that was reared. This made them invincible and the same remedy will make us so.Rate it:
The happiest moments of my life have a been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family.Rate it:
The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family.Rate it:
The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.Rate it:
The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.Rate it:
The Price Of Freedom Is Eternal Vigilance.Rate it:
The sovereign invigorator of the body is exercise, and of all the exercises walking is the best.Rate it:
The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.Rate it:
The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive.Rate it:
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.Rate it:
The superiority of chocolate (hot chocolate), both for health and nourishment, will soon give it the same preference over tea and coffee in America which it has in Spain. . .Rate it:
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.Rate it:
The tree of Liberty needs to be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.Rate it:
The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.Rate it:
There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents.Rate it:
There is nothing more unequal, than the equal treatment of unequal people.Rate it:
This institution will be based upon the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.Rate it:
Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.Rate it:
We confide in our strength, without boasting of it we respect that of others, without fearing it.Rate it:
We confide in our strength, without boasting of it; we respect that of others, without fearing it.Rate it:
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. That to secure these rights, Governments arRate it:
We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.Rate it:
We never regret having eaten too little.Rate it:
When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public propertyRate it:
Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.Rate it:
Whenever there are in any country uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right. The earth is given as a common stock for man to labor and live on. The small landowners are the most precious part of a state.Rate it:
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.Rate it:

Share your thoughts on Thomas Jefferson's quotes with the community:

Quote of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE quote delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     

Citation

Use the citation below to add this author page to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"Thomas Jefferson Quotes." Quotes.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2015. Web. 31 Jan. 2015. <http://www.quotes.net/authors/Thomas Jefferson>.

Missing a quote of Thomas Jefferson?

Know another good quote of Thomas Jefferson? Don't keep it to yourself!


The Web's Largest Resource for

Famous Quotes & Sayings


A Member Of The STANDS4 Network