Third President [1801-1809]
Author of the Declaration of Independence
Helped frame the Bill of Rights
Author of the Northwest Ordinance


What He Said:

“The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend to all the happiness of man.”


“Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern which have come under my observation, none appears to me so pure as that of Jesus.”


"I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus." Letter to Benjamin Rush April 21, 1803


“God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.” (excerpts are inscribed on the walls of the Jefferson Memorial in the nations capital) [Source: Merrill . D. Peterson, ed., Jefferson Writings, (New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1984), Vol. IV, p. 289. From Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, 1781.]


“It [the Bible] is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus." Jan 9, 1816 Letter to Charles Thomson

Thomas Jefferson on the Judiciary branch:


"The Constitution is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please." Sept 6, 1819


"You seem to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy...The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal...knowing that to whatever hands confided, with corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots." [Sept 28, 1820 letter to William Jarvis]


"The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary."