Born - Died : 1734 - 1826
America's third president was born near Williamsburg in Virginia. He became a lawyer and the chief author of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson was also a political philosopher, literate in six languages, a slave-owner, an anti-slavery campaigner - and a gifted designer of a university campus. He kept a Garden book (published in 1944) and designed his own house and garden at Monticello. Jefferson was involved with Pierre L'Enfant's plan for Washington DC and designed the buildings and the campus for the University of Virginia. He was a truly great man.
Quotations from Thomas Jefferson
"The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them." --Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1787. ME 6:57
"The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure." --Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette, 1823. ME 15:491
"I think the Greeks and Romans have left us the present models which exist of fine composition, whether we examine them as works of reason, or of style and fancy; and to them we probably owe these characteristics of modern composition. I know of no composition of any other ancient people which merits the least regard as a model for its matter or style. To all this I add, that to read the Latin and Greek authors in their original is a sublime luxury; and I deem luxury in science to be at least as justifiable as in architecture, painting, gardening, or the other arts." --Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Priestly, 1800. ME
"Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. It is not, then, an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out in life, it is their only capital."