Who said: "Information is the currency of democracy"

BookBrowse's Favorite Quotes

Information is the currency of democracy - Thomas Jefferson

Thomas JeffersonWhen Thomas Jefferson died at the age of 83 he asked that his tombstone list those things that he had given the people, not those that the people had given to him (thus his gravestone does not note that he spent eight years as President of the United States).

His tombstone reads:

Here Was Buried Thomas Jefferson
Author of the Declaration of American Independence
Of The Statute of Virginia For Religion Freedom
And Father of the University of Virginia
Born April 2, 1743
Died July 4, 1826

In addition to the above accomplishments, before becoming a member of the Continental Congress and drafting the Declaration of Independence, the Virginia plantation owner served in local government as a magistrate, county lieutentant and member of the House of Burgesses - which was established in Jamestown, Virginia as the first assembly of elected representatives of English colonists in North America.

After leaving Congress in 1776, Jefferson served as governor of Virginia from 1779 to 1781 and then took up public office again in 1784 in France - first as trade commissioner and then as minister (following in the footsteps of Bejamin Franklin). In the brief time between these two public service roles he wrote his only full length book to be published in his lifetime, Notes on the State of Virginia, which is considered by many to be the most important book published in America before 1800. The book, which Jefferson initially published anonymously in France in 1785, combines data he collected about Virginia's natural resources and economy, with a vigorous argument about the nature of the good society, which he felt Virginia epitomized. He expresses his beliefs about the separation of church and state, constitutional government, checks and balances, and individual liberty. More disturbingly for modern day readers he also writes extensively about slavery and the problems of miscegenation (the mixing of races) and his firm belief that whites and blacks could not live together in a free society.

In 1790 he became Secretary of State under George Washington, and in 1801 became President in the first peaceful transfer of authority from one party to another in the history of the USA. The most notable action of his first term was the purchase of the Louisiana Territory. During his second term he is perhaps best remembered for attempting to keep the USA neutral in the war between Britain and France.

After leaving the presidency in 1809 he returned to the family's plantation in Monticello. During this final period of his life he sold his collection of books to the government to found the Library of Congress and, at the age of seventy-six, founded the University of Virginia, serving as its first rector.

He died on July 4, 1826, heavily in debt, just hours before his friend John Adams, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

More Quotes

This quote & biography originally ran in an issue of BookBrowse's membership magazine. Full Membership Features & Benefits.

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Shotgun Lovesongs
    Shotgun Lovesongs
    by Nickolas Butler
    Nickolas Butler's debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, follows five life-long friends, now in their mid-...
  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...
  • Book Jacket: The Goldfinch
    The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Fiction.

    Her canvas is vast. To frame a story about art, love and ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  170The Weight of Blood:
    Laura McHugh
  2.  143Happier at Home:
    Gretchen Rubin

All Discussions

Who Said...

Read the best books first...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.