Oil portrait by Rembrandt Peale (1805)
Quotes of the Day for 13 April 2003 – Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was born at Shadwell, among the hills of Virginia, on this day in 1743. He is, far and away, my favorite among the founding fathers, due to his blend of optimism and realism. He loved books and information, and opposed tyranny. He knew that an informed and free populace would choose the right course - not every time and not without abuses, but more often than any other mechanism. At a White House gathering of advisors, Jack Kennedy remarked, "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House - with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."
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I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.
If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.
Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
- Notes on the State of Virginia
Whenever you are to do a thing, though it can never be known but to yourself, ask yourself how you would act were all the world looking at you, and act accordingly.
The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.
- All from Thomas Jefferson, 1743 - 1826
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