Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American Founding Father who was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and later served as the third President of the United States from 1801 to 1809.  A proponent of democracy, republicanism, and individual rights motivating American colonists to break from Great Britain and form a new nation, he produced formative documents and decisions at both the state and national level. 

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

If the present Congress errs in too much talking how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send one hundred and fifty lawyers whose trade it is to question everything yield nothing and talk by the hour?

No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms.

To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

One man with courage is a majority.

Dependence begets subservience and venality suffocates the germ of virtue and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.

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

Peace commerce and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.

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.

It is always better to have no ideas than false ones, to believe nothing than to believe what is wrong.

Question with boldness even the existence of a God, because if there be one he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blind-folded fear.

No duty the Executive had to perform was so trying as to put the right man in the right place.

There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents.

There is not a truth existing which I fear... or would wish unknown to the whole world.

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.

Ignorance is preferable to error and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong.

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.

Happiness is not being pained in body or troubled in mind.

He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.

The moment a person forms a theory his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory.

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