We hold these truths to be self-evident,—that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; 2 that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government.
Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations,—entangling alliances with none; the support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns, and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies; the preservation of the general government in its whole constitutional vigour, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad;…freedom of religion; freedom of the press; freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus; and trial by juries impartially selected,—these principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us, and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation.[First Inaugural Address]
All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
An enemy generally says and believes what he wishes.
An injured friend is the bitterest of foes.
Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto.
Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government.
A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.
I am mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, the sale of a book can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too.
My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.
No man will ever carry out of the Presidency the reputation which carried him into it.
Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.
“God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever.”
A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit.
Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.
Bodily decay is gloomy in prospect, but of all human contemplations the most abhorrent is body without mind.
But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine.
Determine never to be idle...It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.
Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, till you know there is no hook beneath it.
Don't talk about what you have done or what you are going to do.
Happiness is not being pained in body or troubled in mind.
He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.
Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom.
I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind.
I believe that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another.
I cannot live without books.
I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
My only fear is that I may live too long. This would be a subject of dread to me.
No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.