Thomas Jefferson

(1743-1826 / Shadwell, Virginia)

Thomas Jefferson Quotes

  • ''My passion strengthens daily to quit political turmoil, and retire into the bosom of my family, the only scene of sincere and pure happiness.''
    Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. Letter, November 6, 1804, to his daughter, Martha Jefferson Randolph. The Family Letters of Thomas Jefferson, p. 263, eds. E.M. Betts and J.A. Bear, Jr. (1966).
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  • ''If the pulse of his people shall beat calmly under this experiment, another and another will be tried till the measure of despotism be filled up.''
    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. 128, ed. Julian P. Boyd, et al. (1950).
  • ''It is a part of the American character to consider nothing as desperate; to surmount every difficulty by resolution and contrivance.''
    Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. Letter, March 28, 1787, to his daughter, Martha Jefferson. The Family Letters of Thomas Jefferson, p. 35, eds. E.M. Betts and J.A. Bear, Jr. (1966).
  • ''[T]he dignity of parliament it seems can brook no opposition to it's power. Strange that a set of men who have made sale of their virtue to the minister should yet talk of retaining dignity!''
    Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. Letter, May 7, 1775, to William Small. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 1, p. 166, ed. Julian P. Boyd, et al. (1950).
  • ''[I]n our country economy, letter writing is an hors d'oeuvre. It is no part of the regular routine of the day.''
    Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. Letter, December 3, 1809, to his grandson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph. The Family Letters of Thomas Jefferson, p. 395, eds. E.M. Betts and J.A. Bear, Jr. (1966).
  • ''Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.''
    Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. Letter, January 28, 1786, to James Currie. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 9, p. 239, ed. Julian P. Boyd, et al. (1950).
  • ''Congress has scarcely any thing to employ them, and complain that the place [Washington, D.C.] is remarkably dull.''
    Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. Letter, December 3, 1804, to his daughter, Martha Jefferson Randolph. The Family Letters of Thomas Jefferson, p. 265, eds. E.M. Betts and J.A. Bear, Jr. (1966).
  • ''What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.''
    Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. letter, Nov. 13, 1787. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 12, Julian P. Boyd (1955). Referring to Daniel Shays's Rebellion of poor farmers in Massachusetts; Jefferson, writing from Paris, was the only one of the American leaders not alarmed by news of the revolt.
  • ''You see I am an enthusiast on the subject of the arts.''
    Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. Letter, September 6, 1785, to James Madison. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 8, p. 535, ed. Julian P. Boyd, et al. (1950).
  • ''Nothing gives one person so great advantage over another, as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.''
    Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. Letter, May 21, 1816, to his grandson, Francis Wayles Eppes. The Family Letters of Thomas Jefferson, p. 415, eds. E.M. Betts and J.A. Bear, Jr. (1966).

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