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Thomas Jefferson quote

A little rebellion now and then is a good thing and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to James Madison, Jan. 30, 1787

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to W.S. Smith, Nov. 13, 1787

The legitimate powers of government extend to only such acts as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say that there are twenty gods, or no God.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Life and Selected Writings

Walking is the very best exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to Peter Carr, Aug. 19, 1785

Dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the body, acquire strength by exercise.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to Robert Skipwith, Aug. 3, 1771

We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to Samuel Kerchevel, Jul. 12, 1816

Whenever people are well-informed they can be trusted with their own government.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, quoted in The Concise Columbia Dictionary of Quotations

Are there so few inquietudes tacked to this momentary life of ours that we must need be loading ourselves with a thousand more?

THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to John Page, Dec. 25, 1762

I am sure the man who powders most, perfumes most, embroiders most, and talks most nonsense, is most admired. Though to be candid, there are some who have too much good sense to esteem such monkey-like animals as these, in whose formation, as the saying is, the tailors and barbers go halves with God Almighty.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to John Page, Dec. 25, 1762

If I am to meet with a disappointment, the sooner I know it, the more of life I shall have to wear it off.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to John Page, Jul. 15, 1763

Perfect happiness, I believe, was never intended by the Deity to be the lot of 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 have steadfastly believed.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to John Page, Jul. 15, 1763

Thomas Jefferson quote

The most fortunate of us, in our journey through life, frequently meet with calamities and misfortunes which may greatly afflict us; and, to fortify our minds against the attacks of these calamities and misfortunes should be one of the principal studies and endeavors of our lives. The only method of doing this is to assume a perfect resignation to the Divine will, to consider that whatever does happen, must happen; and that, by our uneasiness, we cannot prevent the blow before it does fall, but we may add to its force after it has fallen. These considerations, and others such as these, may enable us in some measure to surmount the difficulties thrown in our way; to bear up with a tolerable degree of patience under the burden of life; and to proceed with a pious and unshaken resignation, till we arrive at our journey's end, when we may deliver up our trust into the hands of Him who gave it, and receive such reward as to him shall seem proportioned to our merit.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to John Page, Jul. 15, 1763

We never reflect whether the story we read be truth or fiction. If the painting be lively, and a tolerable picture of nature, we are thrown into a reverie, from which if we awaken it is the fault of the writer. I appeal to every reader of feeling and sentiment whether the fictitious murder of Duncan by Macbeth in Shakespeare does not excite in him as great a horror of villainy as the real one of Henry IV by Ravaillac as related by Davila? And whether the fidelity of Nelson and generosity of Blandford in Marmontel do not dilate his breast and elevate his sentiments as much as any similar incident which real history can furnish? Does he not, in fact, feel himself a better man while reading them, and privately covenant to copy the fair example?

THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to Robert Skipwith, Aug. 3, 1771

The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to Chas. McPherson, Feb. 25, 1773

There is not in the British empire a man who more cordially loves a union with Great Britain than I do. But by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Parliament propose.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to John Randolph, Nov. 29, 1775

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 are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Declaration of Independence

Prudence ... will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Declaration of Independence

Thomas Jefferson quote

Man is an imitative animal. This quality is the germ of all education in him. From his cradle to his grave he is learning to do what he sees others do.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Notes on Virginia

No man will labor for himself who can make another labor for him.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Notes on Virginia

When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, attributed, The Quotable Founding Fathers

Laws made by common consent must not be trampled on by individuals.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to Colonel Vanmeter, Apr. 27, 1781

That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, attributed, Wordsworth Dictionary of Quotations

It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Notes on Virginia

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