150+ Famous Thomas Jefferson Quotes For Motivation And Inspiration

Thomas Jefferson is one of the most quoted leaders in American history. As a political thinker, Jefferson’s influence is still felt today.

Thomas Jefferson – Politician

Thomas Jefferson was an American Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809. He was a principal author of the Declaration of Independence and later served as the Governor of Virginia.

Jefferson is most well known for his authorship of the Declaration of Independence, as well as his advocacy for democracy and individual rights. He was also a keen student of philosophy and science, and is considered one of the most enlightened figures of his era.

As one of the most quoted American leaders, his words often have a way of resonating down through the ages. Here are some of his most famous quotes:

Best Quotes By Thomas Jefferson

 

Never put off to tomorrow what you can do to-day.

– Thomas Jefferson

Never put off to tomorrow what you can do to-day. - Thomas Jefferson


The art of life is the art of avoiding pain.

– Thomas Jefferson


If you want something you’ve never had you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.

– Thomas Jefferson


Leave no authority existing not responsible to the people.

– Thomas Jefferson


I believe that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another.

– Thomas Jefferson


We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

– Thomas Jefferson


There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal people.

– Thomas Jefferson


I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.

– Thomas Jefferson


I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others.

– Thomas Jefferson


I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

– Thomas Jefferson


I find friendship to be like wine, raw when new, ripened with age, the true old man’s milk and restorative cordial.

– Thomas Jefferson


One travels more usefully when alone, because he reflects more.

– Thomas Jefferson


Never trust a man who won’t accept that there is more than one way to spell a word Paraphrased.

– Thomas Jefferson


No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms.

– Thomas Jefferson

No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms. - Thomas Jefferson


Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.

– Thomas Jefferson


Don’t talk about what you have done or what you are going to do.

– Thomas Jefferson

Related: 300+ Courage Quotes To Help You Face Fears And Overcome Adversity


Inspiring Thomas Jefferson Quotes

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


The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

– Thomas Jefferson


Too old to plant trees for my own gratification, I shall do it for my posterity.

– Thomas Jefferson


The earth belongs to the living, not to the dead.

– Thomas Jefferson


I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.

– Thomas Jefferson


No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.

– Thomas Jefferson


The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money.

– Thomas Jefferson

The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money. - Thomas Jefferson


Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.

– Thomas Jefferson

Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe. - Thomas Jefferson


I find that he is happiest of whom the world says least, good or bad.

– Thomas Jefferson


One man with courage is a majority.

– Thomas Jefferson

One man with courage is a majority. - Thomas Jefferson


Educate and inform the whole mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.

– Thomas Jefferson


He who knows best knows how little he knows.

– Thomas Jefferson


How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened.

– Thomas Jefferson


It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read.

– Thomas Jefferson

It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read. - Thomas Jefferson


He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.

– Thomas Jefferson


Truth is certainly a branch of morality and a very important one to society.

– Thomas Jefferson

Truth is certainly a branch of morality and a very important one to society. - Thomas Jefferson


Quotes From Thomas Jefferson

Happiness is not being pained in body or troubled in mind.

– Thomas Jefferson

Happiness is not being pained in body or troubled in mind. - Thomas Jefferson


War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.

– Thomas Jefferson


As our enemies have found we can reason like men, so now let us show them we can fight like men also.

– Thomas Jefferson


Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, till you know there is no hook beneath it.

– Thomas Jefferson


If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.

– Thomas Jefferson


We confide in our strength, without boasting of it, we respect that of others, without fearing it.

– Thomas Jefferson


Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.

– Thomas Jefferson

Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far. - Thomas Jefferson


The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family.

– Thomas Jefferson


It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good.

– Thomas Jefferson


Taste cannot be controlled by law.

– Thomas Jefferson

Taste cannot be controlled by law. - Thomas Jefferson


It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.

– Thomas Jefferson


He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it the second time.

– Thomas Jefferson


In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.

– Thomas Jefferson


Never buy a thing you do not want, because it is cheap, it will be dear to you.

– Thomas Jefferson


Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.

– Thomas Jefferson


Wisdom I know is social. She seeks her fellows. But Beauty is jealous, and illy bears the presence of a rival.

– Thomas Jefferson


Motivational Quotes By Thomas Jefferson

The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave.

– Thomas Jefferson

The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave. - Thomas Jefferson


I cannot live without books.

– Thomas Jefferson


There is not a truth existing which I fear… or would wish unknown to the whole world.

– Thomas Jefferson


But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine.

– Thomas Jefferson


Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.

– Thomas Jefferson


It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.

– Thomas Jefferson


A little rebellion is good now and then.

– Thomas Jefferson

A little rebellion is good now and then. - Thomas Jefferson


Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

– Thomas Jefferson


The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.

– Thomas Jefferson


The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.

– Thomas Jefferson


I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.

– Thomas Jefferson

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. - Thomas Jefferson


When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.

– Thomas Jefferson


Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.

– Thomas Jefferson

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. - Thomas Jefferson


Never spend your money before you have earned it.

– Thomas Jefferson

Never spend your money before you have earned it. - Thomas Jefferson


When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.

– Thomas Jefferson

When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. - Thomas Jefferson


It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.

– Thomas Jefferson


Thomas Jefferson Quotations and Sayings

An injured friend is the bitterest of foes.

– Thomas Jefferson


It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong.

– Thomas Jefferson


Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.

– Thomas Jefferson


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.

– Thomas Jefferson


Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

– Thomas Jefferson


Good wine is a necessity of life for me.

– Thomas Jefferson


Take care of your cents: dollars will take care of themselves.

– Thomas Jefferson


I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led.

– Thomas Jefferson


Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.

– Thomas Jefferson


My only fear is that I may live too long. This would be a subject of dread to me.

– Thomas Jefferson


Power is not alluring to pure minds.

– Thomas Jefferson

Power is not alluring to pure minds. - Thomas Jefferson


I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.

– Thomas Jefferson


Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.

– Thomas Jefferson


I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.

– Thomas Jefferson


The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.

– Thomas Jefferson


Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.

– Thomas Jefferson


Thomas Jefferson Inspirational Quotes

A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit.

– Thomas Jefferson

A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit. - Thomas Jefferson


There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me.

– Thomas Jefferson


Be polite to all, but intimate with few.

– Thomas Jefferson

Be polite to all, but intimate with few. - Thomas Jefferson


Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.

– Thomas Jefferson


The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.

– Thomas Jefferson


My theory has always been, that if we are to dream, the flatteries of hope are as cheap, and pleasanter, than the gloom of despair.

– Thomas Jefferson


For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security.

– Thomas Jefferson


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.

– Thomas Jefferson


The opinions and beliefs of men follow involuntarily the evidence proposed to their minds.

– Thomas Jefferson


I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.

– Thomas Jefferson


The most successful war seldom pays for its losses.

– Thomas Jefferson

The most successful war seldom pays for its losses. - Thomas Jefferson


Every day is lost in which we do not learn something useful. Man has no nobler or more valuable possession than time.

– Thomas Jefferson


Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto.

– Thomas Jefferson


Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.

– Thomas Jefferson


I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.

– Thomas Jefferson


Nothing is unchangeable but the inherent and unalienable rights of man.

– Thomas Jefferson


Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.

– Thomas Jefferson


Money, not morality, is the principle commerce of civilized nations.

– Thomas Jefferson


Friendship is but another name for an alliance with the follies and the misfortunes of others. Our own share of miseries is sufficient: why enter then as volunteers into those of another?

– Thomas Jefferson


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.

– Thomas Jefferson



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