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Were it left to me to decide whether we should
by Thomas Jefferson

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.
- Thomas Jefferson

Related topics: Government Political

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

It is neither wealth nor splendor;
but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.
- Thomas Jefferson

I never considered a difference of opinion
in politics, in religion, in philosophy,
as cause for withdrawing from a friend.
- Thomas Jefferson

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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I find that he is happiest
of whom the world says least, good or bad.
- Thomas Jefferson

How much pain they have cost us,
the evils which have never happened.
- Thomas Jefferson

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

 

He who knows best knows how little he knows.
- Thomas Jefferson

We are not afraid to follow truth
wherever it may lead,
nor to tolerate any error
so long as reason is left free to combat it.
- Thomas Jefferson

Nothing can stop the man with the right
mental attitude from achieving his goal;
nothing on earth can help the man
with the wrong mental attitude.
- Thomas Jefferson

We never repent of having eaten too little.
- Thomas Jefferson

Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another
as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.
- Thomas Jefferson

Whenever you do a thing,
act as if all the world were watching.
- Thomas Jefferson

When angry, count to ten before you speak.
If very angry, count to one hundred.
- Thomas Jefferson

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

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
- Thomas Jefferson
(also attributed to Benjamin Franklin and Lord Chesterfield)

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

Speeches that are measured by the hour
will die with the hour.
- Thomas Jefferson

An injured friend is the bitterest of foes.
- Thomas Jefferson

Bodily decay is gloomy in prospect,
but of all human contemplations,
the most abhorrent is body without mind.
- Thomas Jefferson

No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth,
and no culture comparable to that of the garden.
- Thomas Jefferson

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

Power is not alluring to pure minds.
- Thomas Jefferson

Walking is the best possible exercise.
Habituate yourself to walk very fast.
- Thomas Jefferson

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

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

There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me.
- Thomas Jefferson

The happiest moments my heart knows are those in which
it is pouring forth its affections to a few esteemed characters.
- Thomas Jefferson

Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations;
entangling alliances with none.
- Thomas Jefferson

I believe that every human mind feels pleasure
in doing good to another.
- Thomas Jefferson

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold
is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
- Thomas Jefferson

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

It takes time to persuade men to do even
what is for their own good.
- Thomas Jefferson

Truth is certainly a branch of morality
and a very important one to society.
- Thomas Jefferson

I am a great believer in luck
and I find that the harder
I work the more I have of it.
- Thomas Jefferson

Only aim to do your duty,
and mankind will give you credit where you fail.
- Thomas Jefferson

Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life
in which chance has placed us,
but is always the result of a good conscience,
good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.
- Thomas Jefferson

Don't talk about what you have done
or what you are going to do.
- Thomas Jefferson

The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force.
- Thomas Jefferson

Money, not morality, is the principle commerce of civilized nations.
- Thomas Jefferson

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

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

I have seen enough of one war never to wish to see another.
- Thomas Jefferson

Enlighten the people generally,
and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind
will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.
- Thomas Jefferson

The second office in the government is honorable and easy;
the first is but a splendid misery.
- Thomas Jefferson

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

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

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

Peace and abstinence from European interferences are our objects,
and so will continue while the present
order of things in America remain uninterrupted.
- Thomas Jefferson

The earth belongs to the living, not to the dead.
- Thomas Jefferson

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.
- Thomas Jefferson

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

I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance
or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others.
- Thomas Jefferson

Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on
does not constitute so strong an attachment
as that from which they draw their gains.
- Thomas Jefferson

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.
- Thomas Jefferson

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

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

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

The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction,
is the first and only object of good government.
- Thomas Jefferson

So confident am I in the intentions,
as well as wisdom, of the government,
that I shall always be satisfied that what is not done,
either cannot, or ought not to be done.
- Thomas Jefferson

Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.
- Thomas Jefferson

The god who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time:
the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.
- Thomas Jefferson

Be polite to all, but intimate with few.
- Thomas Jefferson

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
- Thomas Jefferson

I have no ambition to govern men; it is a painful and thankless office.
- Thomas Jefferson

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
- Thomas Jefferson

The most successful war seldom pays for its losses.
- Thomas Jefferson

As our enemies have found, we can reason like men,
so now let us show them we can fight like men also.
- Thomas Jefferson

Conquest is not in our principles.
It is inconsistent with our government.
- Thomas Jefferson

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

Experience hath shown, that even
under the best forms of government,
those entrusted with power have,
in time, and by slow operations,
perverted it into tyranny.
- Thomas Jefferson


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May the world be kind to you,
and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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