Founding Father Quotes

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

United States Founding Father
(1743 - 1826)

Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 July 4, 1826) was the third President of the United States (18011809), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of republicanism in the United States. Major events during his presidency include the Louisiana Purchase (1803) and the Lewis and Clark Expedition (18041806).


Religion: Deist

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Quotes by Thomas Jefferson


If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy.

-= Unknown =-

A private central bank issuing the public currency is a greater menace to the liberties of the people than a standing army." We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt."

-= Unknown =-

When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated."

-= Unknown =-

Educate and inform the whole mass of the people. Enable them to see that it is their interest to preserve peace and order, and they will preserve them.”

-= Unknown =-

Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare but only those specifically enumerated."

-= Unknown =-

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.

-= Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin (1802) 3rd president of US (1743 - 1826) =-

You seem ... to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy... The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal.

-= 1820 =-

A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate.

-= Rights of British America, 1774 =-

A judiciary independent of a king or executive alone, is a good thing; but independence of the will of the nation is a solecism, at least in a republican government.

-= letter to Thomas Ritchie, December 25, 1820 =-

A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable.

-= Letter to James Madison September 8, 1817 =-

A rigid economy of the public contributions and absolute interdiction of all useless expenses will go far towards keeping the government honest and unoppressive.

-= letter to Lafayette, 1823 =-

A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.

-= letter to Peter Carr, August 19, 1785 =-

All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride legitimately, by the grace of God.

-= letter to Roger C. Weightman, June 24, 1826 =-

All the States but our own are sensible that knowledge is power.

-= letter to Joseph C. Cabell, January 22, 1820 =-

All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.

-= First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801 =-


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