Many can learn from Thomas Jefferson Quotes and his many interests. Here are just some key facts about one of the men behind the Declaration of Independence.The following Thomas Jefferson quotes represent his life as an inspirational symbol for both major political parties in the United States… Looking for the best Thomas Jefferson quotes? We’ve compiled a list of the top 100 famous Jefferson quotes and sayings on life, liberty, religion, happiness, people, work, wisdom and more.
Famous Thomas Jefferson Quotes
- Every human being must be viewed according to what it is good for. For not one of us, no, not one, is perfect. And were we to love none who had imperfection, this world would be a desert for our love.
- I am satisfied, and sufficiently occupied with the things which are, without tormenting or troubling myself about those which may indeed be, but of which I have no evidence.
- 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?
- 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.
- Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. 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.
- I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.
- I have observed, indeed, generally, that while in protestant countries the defections from the Platonic Christianity of the priests is to Deism, in catholic countries they are to Atheism. Diderot, D’Alembert, D’Holbach, Condorcet, are known to have been among the most virtuous of men. Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than the love of God.
- I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage with my books, my family and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon, and letting the world roll on as it liked, than to occupy the most splendid post, which any human power can give.
- It is an axiom in my mind, that our liberty can never be safe but in the hands of the people themselves, and that too of the people with a certain degree of instruction. This it is the business of the State to effect, and on a general plan.
- A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, 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.
- I know 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 by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.
- When we see religion split into so many thousand of sects, and I may say Christianity itself divided into its thousands also, who are disputing, anathematizing and where the laws permit burning and torturing one another for abstractions which no one of them understand, and which are indeed beyond the comprehension of the human mind, into which of the chambers of this Bedlam would a man wish to thrust himself.
- Some are whigs, liberals, democrats, call them what you please. Others are tories, serviles, aristocrats, &c. The latter fear the people, and wish to transfer all power to the higher classes of society; the former consider the people as the safest depository of power in the last resort; they cherish them therefore, and wish to leave in them all the powers to the exercise of which they are competent.
- As you say of yourself, I too am an Epicurean. I consider the genuine (not the imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy which Greece and Rome have left us.
- All should be laid open to you without reserve, for there is not a truth existing which I fear, or would wish unknown to the whole world.” The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest.
- 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.
- The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.
- Educate and inform the whole mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.
- 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.
- I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.
- For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security.
- The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.
- I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
Thomas Jefferson Quotes With Images
I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.
If you want something you’ve never had you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.
I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family.
He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it the second time.
Every day is lost in which we do not learn something useful. Man has no nobler or more valuable possession than time.
When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.
Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.
I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led.
The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.
Never buy a thing you do not want, because it is cheap, it will be dear to you.
How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened.
There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal people.
Truth is certainly a branch of morality and a very important one to society.
It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong.
Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.
It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.
Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, till you know there is no hook beneath it.
There is not a truth existing which I fear… or would wish unknown to the whole world.
He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.
My only fear is that I may live too long. This would be a subject of dread to me.
There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me.
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.
The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.
Nothing is unchangeable but the inherent and unalienable rights of man.
I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.
For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security.
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