Thomas Jefferson Quotes

Thomas Jefferson Quotes: I should . . . prefer swallowing one incomprehensibility rather than two. It requires one effort only to admit the single incomprehensibility of matter endowed with thought, and two to believe, first that of an existence called spirit, of which we have neither evidence nor idea, and then secondly how that spirit, which has neither extension nor solidity, can put material organs into motion.
I shall often go wrong through defect of judgment. When right, I shall often be thought wrong by those whose positions will not command a view of the whole ground. I ask your indulgence for my own errors, which will never be intentional, and your support against the errors of others, who may condemn what they would not if seen in all its parts.
[T]he true key for the construction of everything doubtful in a law is the intention of the law-makers. This is most safely gathered from the words, but may be sought also in extraneous circumstances provided they do not contradict the express words of the law.
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.
Old heads as well as young may sometimes be charged with ignorance and presumption. The natural course of the human mind is certainly from credulity to skepticism.
I think with the Romans, that the general of today should be a soldier tomorrow if necessary.
I feel... an ardent desire to see knowledge so disseminated through the mass of mankind that it may, at length, reach even the extremes of society: beggars and kings.
No society can make a perpetual constitution... The earth belongs always to the living generation.
The example of changing a constitution by assembling the wise men of the state, instead of assembling armies, will be worth as much to the world as the former examples we had give them. The constitution, too, which was the result of our deliberation, is unquestionably the wisest ever yet presented to men.
It has been thought that the people are not competent electors of judges learned in the law. But I do not know this to be true, and, if doubtful, we should follow principle.
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.
Take care that you never spell a word wrong. Always before you write a word, consider how it is spelled, and, if you do not remember, turn to a dictionary. It produces great praise to a lady to spell well. to his daughter Martha
It is the trade of lawyers to question everything, yield nothing, and to talk by the hour
No government should be without critics. If its intentions are good then it has nothing to fear from criticism.
That these are our grievances which we have thus laid before his majesty, with that freedom of language and sentiment which becomes a free people claiming their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate.
Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have remover their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.
There are two amendments only which I am anxious for: 1. A bill of rights, which it is so much the interest of all to have that I conceive it must be yielded...2. The restoring of the principle of necessary rotation, particularly to the Senate and Presidency, but most of all to the last...