Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Cornelia J. Randolph: “a dozen Canons of conduct in life”

1. never put off to tomorrow what you can do to-day.

2. never trouble another with what you can do yourself

3. never spend your money before you have it

4. never buy a thing you do not want, because it is cheap, it will be dear to you.

5. take care of your cents: Dollars will take care of themselves!

6. pride costs us more than hunger, thirst and cold.

7. we never repent of having eat too little.

8. nothing is troublesome that one does willingly.

9. how much pain have cost us the evils which have never happend

10. take things always by their smooth handle.

11. think as you please, & so let others, & you will have no disputes.

12. when angry, count 10. before you speak; if very angry, 100.

RC (ViU: TJP-NPT); on a small scrap; addressed: “Miss Cornelia Randolph at Dr Bankhead’s Port Royal.” TJ sent a similar list to his Poplar Forest neighbor Charles Clay for his son Paul, 12 July 1817 (PoC at DLC), omitting numbers 5 and 8, and to his namesake Thomas Jefferson Smith, 21 Feb. 1825 (Dft at DLC), omitting numbers 5 and 11.
January 1, 1805 to December 31, 1810
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