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

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More from Thomas Jefferson

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