Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, musician, philosopher, and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809. He had previously served as the second vice president of the United States under John Adams between 1797 and 1801, and as the first United States secretary of state under George Washington between 1790 to 1793. The principal author of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was a proponent of democracy, republicanism, and individual rights for certain categories of people, motivating American colonists to break from the Kingdom of Great Britain and form a new nation; he produced formative documents and decisions at both the state and national levels.
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.
Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.
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.
A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.
I believe that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another.
Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, till you know there is no hook beneath it.
Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.
He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.
Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.
Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.
Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.
Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.