THOMAS JEFFERSON Quotes

“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.”

Thomas Jefferson
life 

“Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty.”

Thomas Jefferson
life 

“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

“I agree with yours of the 22d that a professorship of Theology should have no place in our institution. but we cannot always do what is absolutely best. those with whom we act, entertaining different views, have the power and the right of carrying them into practice. truth advances, & error recedes step by step only; and to do to our fellow-men the most good in our power, we must lead where we can, follow where we cannot, and still go with them, watching always the favorable moment for helping them to another step.[Comment on establishing Jefferson's University of Virginia, a secular college, in a letter to Thomas Cooper 7 October 1814]”

Thomas Jefferson

“I wish that all nations may recover and retain their independence; that those which are overgrown may not advance beyond safe measures of power, that a salutary balance may be ever maintained among nations, and that our peace, commerce, and friendship, may be sought and cultivated by all. It is our business to manufacture for ourselves whatever we can, to keep our markets open for what we can spare or want; and the less we have to do with the amities or enmities of Europe, the better. Not in our day, but at no distant one, we may shake a rod over the heads of all, which may make the stoutest of them tremble. But I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power, the greater it will be.”

Thomas Jefferson

“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.”

Thomas Jefferson

“There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal people.”

Thomas Jefferson

“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.”

Thomas Jefferson
truth 

“I have no ambition to govern men; it is a painful and thankless office.”

Thomas Jefferson
truth 

“I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led.”

Thomas Jefferson
truth