Quotations on Science

1785 August 19. "I can assure you, that the possession of it [science] is what (next to an honest heart) will above all things render you dear to your friends, and give you fame and promotion in your own country. When you rmind shall be well improved with science, nothing will be necessary to place you in the highest points of view but to pursue the interests of your country, the interests of your friends, and your own interests also with the purest integrity, the most chaste honour."(to Peter Carr, PTJ, 8:405-406.)

1814 July 5. "I hope the necessity will at length be seen of establishing institutions, here as in Europe, where every branch of science, useful at this day, may be taught in it's highest degrees." (to John Adams, Peterson, Writings, 1343.)

1818 March 3. "When I contemplate the immense advances in science and discoveries in the arts which have been made within the period of my life, I look forward with confidence to equal advances by the present generation, and have no doubt they will consequently be as much wiser than we have been as we than our fathers were, and they than the burners of witches." (to Benjamin Waterhouse, Ford, 12:89-90.)

1818 August 4. "Some good men, and even of respectable information, consider the learned sciences as useless acquirements...[the Commissioners] are sensible that the advantages of well-directed education, moral, political, and economical, are truly above all estimate..."(Report of the Commissioners for the University of Virginia, Peterson, Writings, 460.)

1821 November 30. "That the value of science to a republican people; the security it gives to liberty, be enlightening the minds of its citizens;...the virtues it inculcates...in short, its identification with power, morals, order, and happiness..."(Memorial on the Book Duty, Ibid, 476.)

1826 June 24. "The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately..." (Jefferson to Roger C. Wightman.)

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