QuoteItUp on Facebook

Thomas Jefferson quotes

War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.

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

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

Resort is had to ridicule only when reason is against us.

We did not raise armies for glory or for conquest.

Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.

The natural cause of the human mind is certainly from credulity to skepticism.

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

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

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

The good opinion of mankind, like the lever of Archimedes, with the given fulcrum, moves the world.

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.

Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. 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 blindfolded fear.

Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion.

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.

I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way.

It is our duty still to endeavor to avoid war; but if it shall actually take place, no matter by whom brought on, we must defend ourselves. If our house be on fire, without inquiring whether it was fired from within or without, we must try to extinguish it.

Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. It is not, then, an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out in life, it is their only capital.

In defense of our persons and properties under actual violation, we took up arms. When that violence shall be removed, when hostilities shall cease on the part of the aggressors, hostilities shall cease on our part also.