On this day 273 years ago, a founding father was born. April 13 was Thomas Jefferson's birthday, and the day invites a celebration of the American legend. During the 83 years of his life, Jefferson helped write the Declaration of Independence, served as the nation's third president and founded the University of Virginia.
Today there are dozens of famous quotes attributed to Jefferson, though he may not have authored them all himself. Business Insider reported that well-known Jefferson sayings like "The Bible is the source of liberty" and "That government is best which governs least" did not, in fact, come from him.
So in honor of his birthday, here are a few verified quotes to share, as collected by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc.:
"I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."
"History in general only informs us what bad government is."
"I cannot live without books: but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object."
"The ground of liberty is to be gained by inches, that we must be contented to secure what we can get from time to time, and eternally press forward for what is yet to get. It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good."
"Friendship is precious not only in the shade but in the sunshine of life: and thanks to a benevolent arrangement of things, the greater part of life is sunshine."
"Say nothing of my religion. It is known to my God and myself alone. It’s evidence before the world is to be sought in my life. If that has been honest and dutiful to society the religion which has regulated, it cannot be a bad one."
"I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance."
"The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave."
"I find friendship to be like wine, raw when new, ripened with age, the true old man’s milk and restorative cordial."
"No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority."
"It is the wisest philosophy which directs us always to view circumstances under their most pleasing aspect."
"I find as I grow older that I love those most whom I loved first."
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
"I am but a son of nature, loving what I see and feel without being able to give a reason, nor caring much whether there be one."