“we commit honest maniacs to Bedlam, so judges should be withdrawn from their bench, whose erroneous biases are leading us to dissolution.”

Thomas Jefferson

“All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression. ” 

Thomas Jefferson

“When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, an hundred.”

Thomas Jefferson

“With your talents and industry, with science, and that steadfast honesty, which eternally pursues right, regardless of consequences, you may promise yourself everything but health, without which there is no happiness.”

Thomas Jefferson

“I have no ambition to govern men; it is a painful and thankless office.” 

Thomas Jefferson

“The object most interesting to me for the residue of my life, will be to see you both developing daily those principles of virtue and goodness which will make you valuable to others and happy in yourselves, and acquiring those talents and that degree of science which will guard you at all times against ennui, the most dangerous poison of life. A mind always employed is always happy. This is the true secret, the grand recipe for felicity....In a world which furnishes so many employments which are useful, and so many which are amusing, it is our own fault if we ever know what ennui is...”

Thomas Jefferson

“But friendship is precious, not only in the shade but in the sunshine of life; & thanks to a benevolent arrangement of things, the greater part of life is sunshine. I will recur for proof to the days we have lately passed. On these indeed the sun shone brightly.”

Thomas Jefferson

“A machine for making revolutions is doing precisely the wrong thing at just the right time.”

Thomas Jefferson

“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.”

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

“There is a ripeness of time for death, regarding others as well as ourselves, when it is reasonable we should drop off, and make room for another growth. When we have lived our generation out, we should not wish to encroach on another.”

Thomas Jefferson

“We are afraid of the known and afraid of the unknown. That is our daily life and in that there is no hope, and therefore every form of philosophy, every form of theological concept, is merely an escape from the actual reality of what is. All outward forms of change brought about by wars, revolutions, reformations, laws and ideologies have failed completely to change the basic nature of man and therefore of society.”

Thomas Jefferson

“Our Revolution commenced on more favorable ground. It presented us an album on which we were free to write what we pleased. We had no occasion to search into musty records, to hunt up royal parchments, or to investigate the laws and institutions of a semi-barbarous ancestry. We appealed to those of nature, and found them engraved on our hearts. Yet we did not avail ourselves of all the advantages of our position. We had never been permitted to exercise self-government. When forced to assume it, we were novices in its science. Its principles and forms had entered little into our former education. We established however some, although not all its important principles. The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves, in all cases to which they think themselves competent, (as in electing their functionaries executive and legislative, and deciding by a jury of themselves, in all judiciary cases in which any fact is involved,) or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of the press.”

Thomas Jefferson

“We seem not to perceive that, by the law of nature, one generation is to another as one independent nation is to another.”

Thomas Jefferson

“The attempt of Lavoisier to reform chemical nomenclature is premature. One single experiment may destroy the whole filiation of his terms; and his string of sulphates, sulphites, and sulphures, may have served no end than to have retarded the progress of science by a jargon, from the confusion of which time will be requisite to extricate us.” 

Thomas Jefferson


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