There is a debt of service due from every man to his country, proportioned to the bounties which nature and fortune have measured to him ... I love to see honest men and honorable men at the helm, men who will not bend their politics to their purses, nor pursue measures by which they may profit, and then profit by their measures.
-Thomas Jefferson, 1796
“The man who loves his country on it’s own account, and not merely for it’s trappings of interest or power, can never be divorced from it; can never refuse to come forward when he finds that she is engaged in dangers which he has the means of warding off.”
-Thomas Jefferson, 1797
“I tolerate with the utmost latitude the right of others to differ from me in opinion without imputing to them criminality. I know too well the weakness & uncertainty of human reason to wonder at its different results. Both of our political parties … agree conscientiously in the same object, the public good: but they differ essentially in what they deem the means of promoting that good.” - Thomas Jefferson, 1804
“Politics & party hatreds destroy the happiness of every being”
- Thomas Jefferson, 1798
"Be this as it may, in every free & deliberating society, there must from the nature of man be opposite parties, & violent dissensions & discords; and one of these for the most part must prevail over the other for a longer or shorter time. Perhaps this party division is necessary to induce each to watch & debate to the people the proceedings of the other."
-Thomas Jefferson, 1798
“I know, indeed, that some honest men fear that a republican government can not be strong, that this Government is not strong enough; but would the honest patriot, in the full tide of successful experiment, abandon a government which has so far kept us free and firm on the theoretic and visionary fear that this Government, the world's best hope, may by possibility want energy to preserve itself? I trust not. I believe this, on the contrary, the strongest Government on earth. I believe it the only one where every man, at the call of the law, would fly to the standard of the law, and would meet invasions of the public order as his own personal concern. Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.”
- Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address 1801
“I tolerate with the utmost latitude the right of others to differ from me in opinion without imputing to them criminality. I know too well the weakness & uncertainty of human reason to wonder at its different results. Both of our political parties … agree conscientiously in the same object, the public good: but they differ essentially in what they deem the means of promoting that good.”
- Thomas Jefferson, 1804
“Most controversies begin with a discussion of principles; but soon degenerate into episodical, verbal, or personal cavils.”
- Thomas Jefferson, 1818
John Quincy Adams
"I must square every vote I give to some principle, and not say aye or no, as the mere echo to my file-leader. So do not be surprized if you see me stigmatized on all quarters. It is the price of Independence as things stand; and I must pay it."
- John Quincy Adams, 1803