Thomas Jefferson

(1743 1826)
Farmer, Inventor
Attorney, Father
Bill of Rights Author
Governor of Virginia
Minister to France
Third US President

  The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave.

One man with courage is a majority.

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

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.

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

All authority belongs to the people.

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.

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.

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

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny;
when the government fears the people, there is liberty.

Information is the currency of democracy.

Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.

To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

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.

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




Jefferson designed his estate, which remained a work in progress from 1768-1809. Located outside Charlottesville, Virginia, Monticello means 'little mountain.'

An enemy generally says and believes what he wishes.

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.

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

Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.

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.

He who knows best knows how little he knows.

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.

I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.

I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master.

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.

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

It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others: or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own.

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

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


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