- The Book
- The Editor
- Thomas Jefferson
Appreciation for Thomas Jefferson
"I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”—John F. Kennedy, April 29, 1962 (Remarks at a dinner honoring Nobel Prize Winners).
“All honor to Jefferson—to the man who, in the concrete pressure of a struggle for national independence by a single people, had the coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into a merely revolutionary document, an abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times, and so to embalm it there, that to-day, and in all coming days, it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling-block to the very harbingers of re-appearing tyranny and oppression.”—Abraham Lincoln to H.L. Pierce, April 6, 1859.
"The principles of Jefferson are the definitions and axioms of free society."—Abraham Lincoln to H.L. Pierce, April 6, 1859.
"The inconsistency of the institution of domestic slavery with the principles of the Declaration of Independence was seen and lamented by all the southern patriots of the Revolution; by no one with deeper and more unalterable conviction than by the author of the Declaration himself."—John Quincy Adams, July 4th, 1837.
“If Jefferson was wrong, America is wrong. If America is right, Jefferson was right.”—James Parton, Life of Thomas Jefferson: Third President of the United States, 1874, p. iii.
“A government simple, inexpensive, and strong, that shall protect all rights, including those of posterity, and let all interests protect themselves, assuming no functions except those which the Constitution distinctly assigns it, — these are the principles which Jefferson restored in 1801, and to which the future of the country can be safely trusted.”—James Parton, Life of Thomas Jefferson: Third President of the United States, 1874, p. iv.
“The new member from Virginia [Thomas Jefferson], …could calculate an eclipse, survey an estate, tie an artery, plan an edifice, try a cause, break a horse, dance a minuet, and play the violin.”—James Parton, Life of Thomas Jefferson: Third President of the United States, 1874, p. 165.
“Let me describe to you, a man, not yet forty, tall, and with a mild and pleasing countenance, but whose mind and understanding are ample substitutes for every exterior grace. An American, who without ever having quitted his own country, is at once a musician, skilled in drawing; a geometrician, an astronomer, a natural philosopher, legislator, and statesman."—Marquis de Chastellux, Travels in North America in the Years 1780-81-82, New York, 1828, p. 227.
Thomas Jefferson was “a philosopher, in voluntary retirement from the world, and public business, because he loves the world, inasmuch only as he can flatter himself with being useful to mankind.”—Marquis de Chastellux, Travels in North America in the Years 1780-81-82, New York, 1828, p. 228.
“For no object had escaped Mr. Jefferson; and it seemed as if from his youth he had placed his mind, as he has done his house, on an elevated situation, from which he might contemplate the universe."—Marquis de Chastellux, Travels in North America in the Years 1780-81-82, New York, 1828, p. 229.
"...his devotion to the rights of man, and faith in their ultimate establishment, will surely be remembered as long as anyone on earth believes in equality before the law and the freedom of individuals from all oppression." Dumas Malone, Jefferson and the Rights of Man, p. 234