Words of Thomas Jefferson (An American Prophet?)
Subject: Words of Thomas Jefferson
Our third President could very easily be called our greatest prophet. Here are some quotes from his prolific writings. When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical. And finally A Very Interesting Quote -- in light of the present financial crisis: This is what Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:
'I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.'
No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms
This sentence comes from Thomas Jefferson's three drafts of the Virginia Constitution. The text does vary slightly in each draft:
First Draft: "No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms."
Second Draft: "No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms [within his own lands or tenements]."
Third Draft: "No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms [within his own lands or tenements]"
This sentence does not appear in the Virginia Constitution as adopted.
Note: This sentence is often seen paired with the following: "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." That sentence does not appear in the Virginia Constitution drafts or text as adopted, nor in any other Jefferson writings that we know of.
↑ Ibid., 353. The portion of the sentence in brackets is a "conjectural reading for missing or illegible matter," according to the editorial practice of the Papers of Thomas Jefferson staff.
↑ Ibid., 363.
Categories: Famous Quotations | Spurious Quotations