I cannot live without books.
Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.
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.
Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom.
The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.
I'm a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it
The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.
On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock.
We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.
I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than our opinions in physics or geometry...
History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.
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.
Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.
If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.
All should be laid open to you without reserve, for there is not a truth existing which I fear, or would wish unknown to the whole world.
The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest.
The equal rights of man, and the happiness of every individual, are now acknowledged to be the only legitimate objects of government.
There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal people.
When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.
Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty.
To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
I think one travels more usefully when they travel alone, because they reflect more." (Letter to John Banister, Jr., June 19, 1787)
Every day is lost in which we do not learn something useful. Man has no nobler or more valuable possession than time.
Do not bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook beneath it.
The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.
Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry.
Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends [life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness] it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government...
I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led.
Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations...entangling alliances with none
I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.
How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!
The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.
Be polite to all, but intimate with few.
Experience declares that man is the only animal which devours his own kind; for I can apply no milder term to the governments of Europe, and to the general prey of the rich on the poor.
He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.
I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.
Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.
Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and opressions of the body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.
I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.
Every human being must be viewed according to what it is good for. For not one of us, no, not one, is perfect. And were we to love none who had imperfection, this world would be a desert for our love.
It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.
He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it the second time.
I have no ambition to govern men; it is a painful and thankless office.
I hope that we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.
Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto.
Those who expect to be both ignorant and free, expect what never was and never will be.
An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens.
Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst, and cold.
Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.
I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.
An enemy generally says and believes what he wishes.
A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have ~Thomas Jefferson
No people can be both ignorant and free.
He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.
He who knows best knows how little he knows.
It is reasonable that everyone who asks justice should do justice
I am for freedom of religion, and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendency of one sect over another.
Good wine is a necessity of life for me.
We are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a featherbed.
The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his (sic)patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease
A great deal of love given to a few is better than a little to many.
The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave.
The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.
Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.
I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty, than those attending too small a degree of it.
Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.
The dead should not rule the living.
The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture. --The Fruit Hunters
Our civil rights have no dependence upon our religious opinions more than our opinions in physics or geometry.
I have the consolation of having added nothing to my private fortune during my public service, and of retiring with hands clean as they are empty.
Never trouble another for what you can do yourself
Neither Pagan nor Mahamedan nor Jew ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the Commonwealth because of his religion. -quoting John Locke's argument.
[Christianity is] the most ... perverted system that ever shone on man.
It is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
Leave no authority existing not responsible to the people.
A little rebellion is good now and then.
The only security of all is in a free press.
I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.
Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor.
The laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.
It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.
And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.
Always take hold of things by the smooth handle.
Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong.
I am satisfied, and sufficiently occupied with the things which are, without tormenting or troubling myself about those which may indeed be, but of which I have no evidence.
In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.
Without books, I would certainly die.
Our properties within our own territories [should not] be taxed or regulated by any power on earth but our own.
Health, learning and virtue will ensure your happiness; they will give you a quiet conscience, private esteem and public honour.
We have no right to prejudice another in his civil enjoyments because he is of another church.
Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion.
No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, no culture comparable to that of the garden...But though an old man, I am but a young gardener.
I may grow rich by an art I am compelled to follow; I may recover health by medicines I am compelled to take against my own judgment; but I cannot be saved by a worship I disbelieve and abhor.
I am mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, the sale of a book can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too.
...We are all Federalists,and we are all Republicans.
Peace, that glorious moment in time when everyone stops and reloads.
In matters of principal stand like a rock.
Do not be too severe upon the errors of the people, but reclaim them by enlightening them.
I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.