Thomas Jefferson quotes are some of the most famous and well loved quotes from American history. A brilliant writer, Thomas Jefferson quotations and writings reflect his own struggle with certain issues like slavery and big government.
Jefferson was the eloquent author of the Declaration of Independence, yet he hated speaking in public. Reading quotes from Thomas Jefferson, you can see what an interesting character he was. Many of the famous quotes by Thomas Jefferson are timeless...as relevant today as they were when he spoke or wrote them.
"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government."
"And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity in the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale."
"Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper."
"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."
"Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition."
Fun Fact on Thomas Jefferson: He so
loved macaroni that he ordered a macaroni
machine from Italy. He had taken notes about,
and made a drawing of, a macaroni machine while visiting Italy in 1787.
"Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, till you know there is no hook beneath it."
"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."
"A nation, as a society, forms a moral person, and every member of it is personally responsible for his society."
"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."
"The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive."
"For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security."
Fun Fact: Jefferson did much of his writing at his portable writing box desk. He wrote the Declaration of Independence on that lap desk. A photograph of the original is shown on the Library of Congress website.
The History Company offers a beautiful reproduction of the Thomas Jefferson lap desk.
"Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction."
"A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable."
"He who knows best knows how little he knows."
"I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past."
"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend."
"No defender of slavery, I concede that it has its benevolent aspects in lifting the Negro from savagery and helping prepare him for that eventual freedom which is surely written in the Book of Fate"
"I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever."
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock."
"Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty."
"God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have removed their only firm basis: a conviction in the minds of men that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever."
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