“What more sublime delight than to mingle tears with one whom the hand of heaven hath smitten! to watch over the bed of sickness, & to beguile it’s tedious & it’s painful moments! to share our bread with one to whom misfortune has left none! This world abounds indeed with misery: to lighten it’s burthen we must divide it with one another.” TJ to Maria Cosway, 12 Oct. 1816
(courtesy Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society)
“The free exercise of reason is all I ask for the vindication of the character of Jesus.” TJ to William Short, 4 Aug. 1820
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"I am constantly roving about [in France], to see what I have never seen before and shall never see again. In the great cities, I go to see what travellers think alone worthy of being seen; but I make a job of it, and generally gulp it all down in a day. On the other hand, I am never satiated with rambling through the fields and farms, examining the culture and cultivators, with a degree of curiosity which makes some take me for a fool, and others to be much wiser than I am.” TJ to Lafayette, 11 Apr. 1787
Thomas Jefferson, Philosopher
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
“There is a ripeness of time for death, regarding others as well as ourselves, when it is reasonable we should drop off and make room for another growth. When we have lived our generation out, we should not wish to encroach on another. I enjoy good health: I am happy in what is around me, yet I assure you I am ripe for leaving all, this year, this day, this hour.” TJ to John Adams, Aug. 1816