Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson (April 13 [O.S. April 2] 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American Founding Father who was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. He served as the third President of the United States from 1801 to 1809.

Thomas Jefferson Quotes

“History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.”

“There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents.”

“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.” Millercenter

“Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst and cold.”

“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.”

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”

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

“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.”

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

“I am but a son of nature, loving what I see and feel without being able to give a reason, nor caring much whether there be one.”

“I find friendship to be like wine, raw when new, ripened with age, the true old man’s milk and restorative cordial.”

“Delay is preferable to error.”

“When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.”

“I cannot live without books.”

“I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance.”

“He who knows best knows how little he knows.”

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.”

“The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.”

“For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead…”

“No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority.”

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

“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.”

“It is the wisest philosophy which directs us always to view circumstances under their most pleasing aspect.”

“The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest.”

“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 tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.”

“The ground of liberty is to be gained by inches, that we must be contented to secure what we can get from time to time, and eternally press forward for what is yet to get. It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good.”

“I find as I grow older that I love those most whom I loved first.”

“The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave.”

“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.”

“On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

“The advertisements are the most truthful part of a newspaper.”

“Say nothing of my religion. It is known to my God and myself alone. It’s evidence before the world is to be sought in my life. If that has been honest and dutiful to society the religion which has regulated, it cannot be a bad one.”

“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

“When the subject is strong, simplicity is the only way to treat it.”

“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.”

“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.”