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Quotations From THOMAS JEFFERSON

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  • 1.
    No government ought to be without censors; and where the press is free no one ever will.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. Letter, September 9, 1792, to George Washington.
  • 2.
    They know, and will therefore say, that kings are the servants, not the proprietors of the people.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. "A Summary View of the Rights of British America..." (1774). The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 1, p. 134, ed. Julian P. Boyd, et al. (1950).

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  • 3.
    We must endeavor to forget our former love for them [the British] and to hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. "Fragment of the Composition Draft of the Declaration of Independence" (1776). The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 1, p. 421, ed. Julian P. Boyd, et al. (1950).

    Read more quotations about / on: peace, war, love
  • 4.
    We may consider each generation as a distinct nation, with a right, by the will of its majority, to bind themselves, but none to bind the succeeding generation, more than the inhabitants of another country.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. Letter, June 24, 1813. On the incurring of a national debt.
  • 5.
    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 (1743-1826), U.S. president. Letter, March 17, 1814. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 9, ed. Paul L. Ford (1898).
  • 6.
    If you are obliged to neglect any thing, let it be your chemistry. It is the least useful and the least amusing to a country gentleman of all the ordinary branches of science.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. Letter, January 3, 1809, to his grandson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph. The Family Letters of Thomas Jefferson, p. 377, eds. E.M. Betts and J.A. Bear, Jr. (1966).
  • 7.
    For the support of this declaration we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, & our sacred honour.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. "Jefferson's 'original Rough draught' of the Declaration of Independence" (1776). The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 1, p. 427, ed. Julian P. Boyd, et al. (1950).
  • 8.
    Resort is had to ridicule only when reason is against us.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. Letter, 1813, to Jefferson's successor as president, James Madison.
  • 9.
    Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on [political offices], a rottenness begins in his conduct.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. Letter, May 21, 1799. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 7, ed. Paul L. Ford (1896).
  • 10.
    There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. letter, Oct. 28, 1813, to former president, John Adams. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 9, ed. Paul L. Ford (1898).
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