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  • #1
    Thomas Jefferson
    “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.”
    Thomas Jefferson


  • #2
    Thomas Jefferson
    “I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”
    Thomas Jefferson


  • #3
    Thomas Jefferson
    “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”
    Thomas Jefferson


  • #4
    Thomas Jefferson
    “On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock.”
    Thomas Jefferson


  • #5
    Thomas Jefferson
    “...vast accession of strength from their younger recruits, who having nothing in them of the feelings or principles of ’76 now look to a single and splendid government of an Aristocracy, founded on banking institutions and monied in corporations under the guise and cloak of their favored branches of manufactures commerce and navigation, riding and ruling over the plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry.”
    Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson


  • #6
    Thomas Jefferson
    “History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.”
    Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson


  • #7
    Thomas Jefferson
    “The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. 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, Letters of Thomas Jefferson


  • #8
    Thomas Jefferson
    “Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than our opinions in physics or geometry...”
    Thomas Jefferson, The Statute Of Virginia For Religious Freedom


  • #9
    Thomas Jefferson
    “When the clergy addressed General Washington on his departure from the government, it was observed in their consultation that he had never on any occasion said a word to the public which showed a belief in the Christian religion and they thought they should so pen their address as to force him at length to declare publicly whether he was a Christian or not. They did so. However [Dr. Rush] observed the old fox was too cunning for them. He answered every article of their address particularly except that, which he passed over without notice... I know that Gouverneur Morris, who pretended to be in his secrets & believed himself to be so, has often told me that General Washington believed no more of that system than he himself did.

    {The Anas, February 1, 1800, written shortly after the death of first US president George Washington}”
    Thomas Jefferson, The Complete Anas of Thomas Jefferson


  • #10
    Thomas Jefferson
    “Some are whigs, liberals, democrats, call them what you please. Others are tories, serviles, aristocrats, &c. The latter fear the people, and wish to transfer all power to the higher classes of society; the former consider the people as the safest depository of power in the last resort; they cherish them therefore, and wish to leave in them all the powers to the exercise of which they are competent.”
    Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson


  • #11
    Thomas Jefferson
    “I know 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 by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”
    Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson


  • #12
    Thomas Jefferson
    “And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes; have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers.”
    Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson


  • #13
    Thomas Jefferson
    “And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away all this artificial scaffolding...

    {Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823}”
    Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson


  • #14
    Thomas Jefferson
    “Whereas it appeareth that however certain forms of government are better calculated than others to protect individuals in the free exercise of their natural rights, and are at the same time themselves better guarded against degeneracy, yet experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms, those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny; and it is believed that the most effectual means of preventing this would be, to illuminate, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large, ....whence it becomes expedient for promoting the publick happiness that those persons, whom nature hath endowed with genius and virtue, should be rendered by liberal education worthy to receive, and able to guard the sacred deposit of the rights and liberties of their fellow citizens, and that they should be called to that charge without regard to wealth, birth or accidental condition of circumstance.”
    Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson: Writings


  • #15
    Thomas Jefferson
    “Altho' I rarely waste time in reading on theological subjects, as mangled by our Pseudo-Christians, yet I can readily suppose Basanistos may be amusing. Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus. If it could be understood it would not answer their purpose. Their security is in their faculty of shedding darkness, like the scuttlefish, thro' the element in which they move, and making it impenetrable to the eye of a pursuing enemy, and there they will skulk.

    [Letter to Francis Adrian Van der Kemp on 30 July 1810 denouncing the Christian doctrine of the Trinity]”
    Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson


  • #16
    Thomas Jefferson
    “...it is not to be understood that I am with him [Jesus] in all his doctrines. I am a Materialist, he takes the side of spiritualism; he preaches the efficacy of repentance toward forgiveness of sin. I require a counterpoise of good works to redeem it... Among the sayings & discourses imputed to him by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence: and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being.

    [Letter to William Short, 13 April 1820]”
    Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson


  • #17
    Thomas Jefferson
    “. . . The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere.”
    Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson


  • #18
    Thomas Jefferson
    “The hocus-pocus phantasm of a God like another Cerberus, with one body and three heads, had its birth and growth in the blood of thousands and thousands of martyrs... In fact, the Athanasian paradox that one is three, and three but one, is so incomprehensible to the human mind, that no candid man can say he has any idea of it, and how can he believe what presents no idea? He who thinks he does, only deceives himself. He proves, also, that man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without a rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such persons, gullibility which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason, and the mind becomes a wreck.

    [Letter to James Smith discussing Jefferson's hate of the doctrine of the Christian trinity, December 8 1822]”
    Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson


  • #19
    Thomas Jefferson
    “I am increasingly persuaded that the earth belongs exclusively to the living and that one generation has no more right to bind another to it's laws and judgments than one independent nation has the right to command another.”
    Thomas Jefferson


  • #20
    Thomas Jefferson
    “If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.”
    Thomas Jefferson


  • #21
    Thomas Jefferson
    “When once we quit the basis of sensation, all is in the wind. To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, god, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no god, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise: but I believe I am supported in my creed of materialism by Locke, Tracy, and Stewart.

    {Letter to John Adams, from Monticello, 15 August 1820}”
    Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson


  • #22
    Thomas Jefferson
    “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”
    Thomas Jefferson


  • #23
    Thomas Jefferson
    “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...”
    Thomas Jefferson


  • #24
    Thomas Jefferson
    “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.”
    Thomas Jefferson


  • #25
    Thomas Jefferson
    “It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.”
    Thomas Jefferson


  • #26
    Thomas Jefferson
    “There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal people.”
    Thomas Jefferson


  • #27
    Thomas Jefferson
    “Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry.”
    Thomas Jefferson


  • #28
    Thomas Jefferson
    “Our country is too large to have all its affairs directed by a single government. Public servants at such a distance, and from under the eye of their constituents, must, from the circumstance of distance, be unable to administer and overlook all the details necessary for the good government of the citizens; and the same circumstance, by rendering detection impossible to their constituents, will invite public agents to corruption, plunder and waste.”
    Thomas Jefferson


  • #29
    Thomas Jefferson
    “The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”
    Thomas Jefferson


  • #30
    Thomas Jefferson
    “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.”
    Thomas Jefferson




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