Jefferson’s Canons of Conduct

Official_Presidential_portrait_of_Thomas_Jefferson_(by_Rembrandt_Peale,_1800)As a lot of people know, I like to study the writings and documents that were created by the US Founding Fathers.  I find their insight refreshing, and their forward thinking an inspiration.  This is not a political post in nature, but a post of some good advice that Thomas Jefferson has given.  These are some canons of conduct that he has given in two different letters.  One of the letters was to an individual named Thomas Jefferson Smith (only contained 10 of the 12), and the other was to his granddaughter Cornelia Jefferson Randolph. I have combined the two letters and created one list.  This is advice that I think everyone can use, especially if you are trying to start a farm, and you need to focus your resources on it.  I think that Benjamin Franklin gets a lot of credit for his single line advice because of the Poor Richard’s Almanac that he published, but I think that there are a lot of good tidbits of knowledge from the other founders as well.  Here are some from Thomas Jefferson.

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[en] too little.

8. Nothing is troublesome that one does willingly.

9. How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happen d!

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.



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