BN.com Gift Guide

The Quotable Jefferson

Overview

More than any other Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson made his reputation on the brilliance of his writing. John Adams chose the 33-year-old Jefferson to draft the Declaration of Independence largely because of his "masterly Pen." The genius of the Declaration and Jefferson's later writings amply confirmed Adams's judgment. Few writers have said so much on so many subjects?and said it so well?as Jefferson. The Quotable Jefferson?the most comprehensive and authoritative book of Jefferson quotations ever ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$15.84
BN.com price
(Save 20%)$19.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (23) from $1.99   
  • New (13) from $10.65   
  • Used (10) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

More than any other Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson made his reputation on the brilliance of his writing. John Adams chose the 33-year-old Jefferson to draft the Declaration of Independence largely because of his "masterly Pen." The genius of the Declaration and Jefferson's later writings amply confirmed Adams's judgment. Few writers have said so much on so many subjects—and said it so well—as Jefferson. The Quotable Jefferson—the most comprehensive and authoritative book of Jefferson quotations ever published—demonstrates that as does no other book.

Drawing primarily on The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, published by Princeton University Press, John Kaminski has carefully collected and cleverly arranged Jefferson's pronouncements on almost 500 subjects, ranging from the profound and public—the Constitution—to the personal and peculiar—cold water bathing.

The Quotable Jefferson is the first book to put Jefferson's words in context with a substantial introduction, a chronology of Jefferson's life, the source of each quotation, an appendix identifying Jefferson's correspondents, and a comprehensive index. The main section of Jefferson quotations, which are arranged alphabetically by topic, is followed by three other fascinating sections of quotations: Jefferson on his contemporaries, his contemporaries on him, and Jefferson on himself.

This book will delight the casual reader and browser, but it is also a serious and carefully edited reference work. Whatever the subject, if Jefferson said something memorable about it, you are likely to find it here.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
A banquet for history buffs, this anthology presents our erudite and supremely accomplished third president's views on literally hundreds of subjects. Arranged to reward a scholar's curiosity or to satisfy the urge towards casual browsing, the collection draws from the entire range of Jefferson's writings. Sections also sample Jefferson's views of famous contemporaries and their views of Jefferson.
National Conservative Weekly - Patrick McNamara
John P. Kaminski's work, the product of many years research and laborious editing, will help to familiarize readers with the world view of Jefferson, while placing his words in the correct context. The work, even in the light of the volumes on Jefferson already at hand, is a welcome addition for those wanting to understand the man in his own word.
The Advocate - Mary Garrett
If your family library contains no volume on Jefferson, John Kaminski's The Quotable Jefferson would be the perfect place to start. Every quotation is attributed to its source and it seems impossible that any reader who browses these pages would not be enticed to go more deeply into the life and history of Thomas Jefferson and in doing so, into the very heart of the nation of which he was so able a founder.
From the Publisher
"John P. Kaminski's work, the product of many years research and laborious editing, will help to familiarize readers with the world view of Jefferson, while placing his words in the correct context. The work, even in the light of the volumes on Jefferson already at hand, is a welcome addition for those wanting to understand the man in his own word."—Patrick McNamara, National Conservative Weekly

"This is an elegant collection of quotations. . . . For those who enjoy their history in tasty tidbits and colorful personal language, this is a great book to dip into."Edmonton Journal

"This book will delight the casual reader and browser, but it is also a serious and carefully edited reference work. Whatever the subject, if Jefferson said something memorable about it, you are likely to find it here."Spartacus Educational

"If your family library contains no volume on Jefferson, John Kaminski's The Quotable Jefferson would be the perfect place to start. Every quotation is attributed to its source and it seems impossible that any reader who browses these pages would not be enticed to go more deeply into the life and history of Thomas Jefferson and in doing so, into the very heart of the nation of which he was so able a founder."—Mary Garrett, The Advocate

National Conservative Weekly
John P. Kaminski's work, the product of many years research and laborious editing, will help to familiarize readers with the world view of Jefferson, while placing his words in the correct context. The work, even in the light of the volumes on Jefferson already at hand, is a welcome addition for those wanting to understand the man in his own word.
— Patrick McNamara
Edmonton Journal
This is an elegant collection of quotations. . . . For those who enjoy their history in tasty tidbits and colorful personal language, this is a great book to dip into.
Spartacus Educational
This book will delight the casual reader and browser, but it is also a serious and carefully edited reference work. Whatever the subject, if Jefferson said something memorable about it, you are likely to find it here.
The Advocate
If your family library contains no volume on Jefferson, John Kaminski's The Quotable Jefferson would be the perfect place to start. Every quotation is attributed to its source and it seems impossible that any reader who browses these pages would not be enticed to go more deeply into the life and history of Thomas Jefferson and in doing so, into the very heart of the nation of which he was so able a founder.
— Mary Garrett
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691122670
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 5/2/2006
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 1,087,406
  • Product dimensions: 4.60 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author

John P. Kaminski is the founder and director of the Center for the Study of the American Constitution in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is the director and coeditor of "The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution" (nineteen volumes to date). He has written or edited sixteen other books, including three on Thomas Jefferson.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

The Quotable Jefferson


Princeton University Press

Copyright © 2006 Princeton University Press
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-691-12267-9


Chapter One

Quotations

THE THOUGHTS AND WORDS OF THOMAS JEFFERSON

Advice

You will perceive by my preaching that I am growing old: it is the privilege of years, and I am sure you will pardon it from the purity of its motives.

To Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr., Paris, November 25, 1785

The greatest favor which can be done me is the communication of the opinions of judicious men, of men who do not suffer their judgments to be biased by either interest or passions.

To Chandler Price, Washington, February 28, 1807

Your situation, thrown at such a distance from us, & alone, cannot but give us all great anxieties for you. As much has been secured for you, by your particular position and the acquaintance to which you have been recommended, as could be done towards shielding you from the dangers which surround you. But thrown on a wide world, among entire strangers, without a friend or guardian to advise, so young too, & with so little experience of mankind, your dangers are great, & still your safety must rest on yourself. A determination never to do what is wrong, prudence and good humor, will go far towards securing to you the estimation of the world.

To Thomas Jefferson Randolph, Washington, November 24, 1808

How easily we prescribe for others a cure for their difficulties,while we cannot cure our own.

To John Adams, Monticello, January 22, 1821

Adore God. Reverence and cherish your parents. Love your neighbor as yourself, and your country more than yourself. Be just. Be true. Murmur not at the ways of Providence.

To Thomas Jefferson Smith, Monticello, February 21, 1825

Consultation

I have found in the course of our joint services that I think right when I think with you.

To John Adams, Paris, July 7, 1785

Setting an Example

View, in those whom you see, patients to be cured of what is amiss by your example, encourage in them that simplicity which should be the ornament of their country; in fine, follow the dispositions of your own native benevolence & sweetness of temper, and you will be happy & make them so.

To Madame de Bréhan, Paris, May 9, 1788

I have ever deemed it more honorable, & more profitable too, to set a good example than to follow a bad one. The good opinion of mankind, like the lever of Archimedes, with the given fulcrum, moves the world.

To José Correa da Serra, Monticello, December 27, 1814

Suggestions

Suggestion and fact are different things.

To the Marquis de Lafayette, Monticello, August 4, 1781

As I know from experience that profitable suggestions sometimes come from lookers on, they may be usefully tolerated, provided they do not pretend to the right of an answer.

To Unknown, 1813

Ten Canons for Practical Life

Decalogue of Canons for Observation in Practical Life

1. Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

2. Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.

3. Never spend your money before you have it.

4. Never buy what you do not want, because it is cheap; it will be dear to you.

5. Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst and cold.

6. We never repent of having eaten too little.

7. Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.

8. How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened.

9. Take things always by their smooth handle.

10. When angry, count ten, before you speak; if very angry, an hundred.

To Thomas Jefferson Smith, Monticello, February 21, 1825

Agriculture s

I am never satiated with rambling through the fields and farms, examining the culture and cultivators, with a degree of curiosity which makes some to take me for a fool and others to be much wiser than I am.

To the Marquis de Lafayette, April 11, 1787

A steady application to agriculture with just trade enough to take off its superfluities is our wisest course.

To Wilson Miles Cary, Paris, August 12, 1787

The pursuits of Agriculture [are] the surest road to affluence and best preservative of morals.

To John Blair, Paris, August 13, 1787

Agriculture ... is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals & happiness ... The moderate & sure income of husbandry begets permanent improvement, quiet life, and orderly conduct both public and private. We have no occasion for more commerce than to take off our superfluous produce.

To George Washington, Paris, August 14, 1787

I return to farming with an ardor which I scarcely knew in my youth, and which has got the better entirely of my love of study. Instead of writing 10 or 12 letters a day, which I have been in the habit of doing as a thing of course, I put off answering my letters now, farmer-like, till a rainy day, & then find it sometimes postponed by other necessary occupations.

To John Adams, Monticello, April 25, 1794

This first & most precious of all the arts.

To Robert R. Livingston, Philadelphia, April 30, 1800

The class principally defective is that of agriculture. It is the first in utility & ought to be the 1st in respect. The same artificial means which have been used to produce a competition in learning may be equally successful in restoring agriculture to its primary dignity in the eyes of men. It is a science of the very first order. It counts among its handmaids the most respectable sciences, such as chemistry, natural philosophy, mechanics, mathematics generally, natural history, botany. In every college & university, a professorship of Agriculture, & the class of its students, might be honored as the first.

To David Williams, Washington, November 14, 1803

Attached to agriculture by inclination as well as by a conviction that it is the most useful of the occupations of man, my course of life has not permitted me to add to its theories the lessons of practice.

To M. Silvestre, secretary of the Agricultural Society of Paris, Washington, May 29, 1807

About to be relieved from this corvée by age and the fulfillment of the quadragena stipendia, what remains to me of physical activity will chiefly be employed in the amusements of agriculture. Having little practical skill, I count more on the pleasures than the profits of that occupation.

To Charles Philbert Lasteryrie-du Saillant, Washington, July 15, 1808

No sentiment is more acknowledged in the family of Agriculturalists than that the few who can afford it should incur the risk & expense of all new improvements, & give the benefit freely to the many of more restricted circumstances.

To President James Madison, Monticello, May 13, 1810

The spontaneous energies of the earth are a gift of nature, but they require the labor of man to direct their operation. And the question is so to husband his labor as to turn the greatest quantity of the earth to his benefit. Ploughing deep, your recipe for killing weeds is also the recipe for almost every good thing in farming. The plow is to the farmer what the wand is to the sorcerer. Its effect is really like sorcery. In the country wherein I live, we have discovered a new use for it, equal in value to its services before known. Our country is hilly and we have been in the habit of ploughing in strait rows whether up or down hill, in oblique lines, or however they lead, and our soil was all rapidly running into the rivers. We now plough horizontally following the curvatures of the hills and hollows on the dead level, however crooked the lines may be. Every furrow thus acts as a reservoir to receive and retain the waters, all of which go to the benefit of the growing plant instead of running off into streams.

To Charles Willson Peale, March 17, 1813

Farmers

Those who labor in the earth are the chosen people of god, if ever he had a chosen people, whose breasts he has made his peculiar deposit for substantial and genuine virtue.

Notes on the State of Virginia, 1782]

Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, & they are tied to their country & wedded to its liberty & interests by the most lasting bands.

To John Jay, Paris, August 23, 1785

The cultivators of the earth are the most virtuous citizens and possess most of the amor patriae. Merchants are the least virtuous, and possess the least of the amor patriae.

To Jean Nicolas Démeunier, January 24, 1786

Ours are the only farmers who can read Homer.

To St. John de Crèvecoeur, Paris, January 15, 1787

Have you become a farmer? Is it not pleasanter than to be shut up within 4 walls and delving eternally with the pen? I am become the most ardent farmer in the state. I live on my horse from morning to night almost.

To Henry Knox, Monticello, June 1, 1795

I am entirely a farmer, soul and body, never scarcely admitting a sentiment on any other subject.

To Thomas Pinckney, Monticello, September 8, 1795

If a debt is once contracted by a farmer, it is never paid but by a sale.

To Mary Jefferson Eppes, Philadelphia, January 7, 1798

The truth is that farmers, as we all are, have no command of money. Our necessaries are all supplied either from our farms, or a neighboring store. Our produce, at the end of the year, is delivered to the merchant & thus the business of the year is done by barter, without the intervention of scarcely a dollar: and thus also we live with a plenty of every thing except money.

To William Duane, Monticello, March 28, 1811

So that in the lotteries of human life you see that even farming is but gambling.

To Unknown, no date [1813?]

Gardening

I have often thought that if heaven had given me choice of my position & calling, it should have been on a rich spot of earth, well watered, and near a good market for the productions of the garden. No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, & no culture comparable to that of the garden. Such a variety of subjects, some one always coming to perfection, the failure of one thing repaired by the success of another, & instead of one harvest, a continued one thro' the year. Under a total want of demand except for our family table. I am still devoted to the garden. But tho' an old man, I am but a young gardener.

To Charles Willson Peale, Poplar Forest, August 20, 1811

Introducing New Crops

One service of this kind rendered to a nation is worth more to them than all the victories of the most splendid pages of their history, and becomes a source of exalted pleasure to those who have been instrumental to it.

To Alexandre Giroud, Philadelphia, May 22, 1797

Natural Fertilizing

The atmosphere is certainly the great workshop of nature for elaborating the fertilizing principles, & insinuating them into the soil.

To William Strickland, Philadelphia, March 23, 1798

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Quotable Jefferson Copyright © 2006 by Princeton University Press . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

PREFACE xi
INTRODUCTION xxiii
THOMAS JEFFERSON CHRONOLOGY lxiii

The Thoughts and Words of Thomas Jefferson 3

Advice 3
Agriculture 6
America 12
The American Revolution 18
The Arts 21
Books 24
Cities, Countries, and Regions 31
The Constitution 50
Death 60
Dreams, Imagination, and Memories 64
Duty, Honor, and Citizenship 67
The Economy 77
Education and Knowledge 83
Family 97
Food and Drink 108
Foreign Affairs 112
Freedom and Liberty 116
Friends and Enemies 123
Government 132
Health, Medicine, and Exercise 173
History 181
Human Action and Interaction 186
Human Nature 227
Indians 242
Inventions and Ideas 246
Jefferson's Presidency 252
The Judiciary and Justice 258
Language 265
Life 273
Life's Difficulties 290
Love 296
The Military 298
Morality 300
The Natural World 310
Occupations 321
Pain and Pleasure 323
Peace 326
The People 329
Politics 331
The Press 342
Racism 351
Religion 352
Slavery 373
Travel 379
War 384
Women 392

Thomas Jefferson Describes
His Contemporaries 397
Thomas Jefferson Described by
His Contemporaries 442
Thomas Jefferson Describes Himself 490

JEFFERSON'S CORRESPONDENTS 501
BIBLIOGRAPHY 515
INDEX 519

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)