The words of Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826):
A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.
Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.
Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. It is not, then, an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out in life, it is their only capital.
Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government.
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.
Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.
Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.
Errors of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.
Every generation needs a new revolution.
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.
He who knows best knows how little he knows.
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.
I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.
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.
No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.
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.
The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory.
Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very fast.
We are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a featherbed.
When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe