Thomas Jefferson

Quotations

I feel much alarmed at the prospect of seeing General Jackson President. He is one of the most unfit men I know of for such a place. He has had very little respect for laws and constitutions, and is, in fact, an able military chief. His passions are terrible. When I was President of the Senate, he was Senator; and he could never speak on account of the rashness of his feelings. I have seen him attempt it repeatedly, and as often choke with rage. His passions are, no doubt, cooler now; he has been much tried since I knew him, but he is a dangerous man.

"Daniel Webster’s Interview With Jefferson," 1824

Never spend your money before you have it.

letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith, February 21, 1825

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

letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith, February 21, 1825

Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst and cold.

letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith, February 21, 1825

Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.

letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith, February 21, 1825

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

letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith, February 21, 1825

Take things always by their smooth handle.

letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith, February 21, 1825

When angry, count ten, before you speak; if very angry, an hundred.

letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith, February 21, 1825

If, in my retirement to the humble station of a private citizen, I am accompanied with the esteem and approbation of my fellow citizens, trophies obtained by the bloodstained steel, or the tattered flags of the tented field, will never be envied. The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government.

letter to the Republican Citizens of Washington County, Maryland, March 31, 1809

Although an old man, I am but a young gardener.

That Indian swamp in the wilderness.

on Washington, D.C., attributed, 1789

He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truth without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.

Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.

First Inaugural Address. March 4, 1801

When a man has cast his longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.

We never repent of having eaten too little.

letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith, February 21, 1825

Never put off till to-morrow what you can do to-day.

letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith, February 21, 1825

Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.

letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith, February 21, 1825