Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.
There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.
Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
No man who ever held the office of president would congratulate a friend on obtaining it.
Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.
In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.
You will never be alone with a poet in your pocket.
The proposition that the people are the best keepers of their own liberties is not true. They are the worst conceivable, they are no keepers at all; they can neither judge, act, think, or will, as a political body.
All the perplexities, confusions, and distress in America arise, not from defects in their constitution or confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.
But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.
Thomas Jefferson still lives.
Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.
Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives.
We have no government armed with the power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.… Our Constitution was made only for a moral and a religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in providence, for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.
Statesmen may plan and speculate for liberty but it is religion and morality alone that can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand.
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.