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Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Mann Randolph, 27 Aug. 1786 [Quote]

knowlege indeed is a desireable, a lovely possession, but I do not scruple to say that health is more so. it is of little consequence to store the mind with science if the body be permitted to become debilitated. if the body be feeble, the mind will not be strong. the sovereign invigorator of the...

Extract from the Diary of John Quincy Adams, 3 Nov. 1807

3. ... Mr Jefferson said that the Epicurean philosophy came nearest to the truth, in his opinion, of any antient system of philosophy—But that it had been misunderstood and misrepresented—He wished the work of Gassendi concerning it had been translated—It was the only accurate account of it...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Rush, 16 Jan. 1811 [Quote]

my present course of life admits less reading than I wish. from breakfast, or noon at latest, to dinner, I am mostly on horseback, attending to my farms or other concerns, which I find healthful to my body, mind, & affairs: and the few hours I can pass in my cabinet, are devoured by...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Elizabeth Trist, 10 May 1813 [Quote]

I brought the inclosed book to this place, the last fall, intending to forward it to you; but having a neighbor here who loves to laugh, I lent it to him to read; he lent it to another, and so it went the rounds of the neighborhood and is returned to me at my Spring visit to this place. I now...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Cooper, 10 Feb. 1814 [Quote]

I promised you a sample from my Commonplace book ... when I was a student of the law, now half a century ago, after getting thro Coke Littleton, whose matter cannot be abridged, I was in the habit of abridging and commonplacing what I read meriting it, and of sometimes mixing my own reflections...

Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Nathaniel Burwell, 14 Mar. 1818 [Quote]

A great obstacle to good education is the in ordinate passion prevalent for novels, and the time lost in that reading which should be instructively employed. when this poison infects the mind, it destroys it’s tone, and revolts it against wholsome reading. reason and fact, plain and unadorned,...

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