I steer my bark with hope in the head, leaving fear astern. My hopes indeed sometimes fail, but not oftener than the forebodings of the gloomy.
I served with General Washington in the Legislature of Virginia... and... with Dr. Franklin in Congress. I never heard either of them speak ten minutes at a time, nor to any but the main point.
I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.
I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be.
I have the consolation of having added nothing to my private fortune during my public service, and of retiring with hands clean as they are empty.
The greatest honor of a man is in doing good to his fellow men, not in destroying them.
Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure.
The Giver of life gave it for happiness and not for wretchedness.
The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family.