1807Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) | President

Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day, but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, unalterable through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate, systematical plan of reducing us to slavery.

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms (of government) those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day. I really look with commiseration over the great body of my fellow citizens who, reading newspapers, live and die in the belief that they have known something of what has been passing in the world in their time; whereas the accounts they have read in newspapers are just as true a history of any other period of the world as of the present, except that the real names of the day are affixed to their fables.

I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.

I hope we shall take warning from the example {of England} and crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws our country.

I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government; I mean an additional article taking from the Federal Government the power of borrowing.

...But this, the only resource which the government could command with certainty, the States have unfortunately fooled away, nay corruptly alienated to swindlers and shavers, under the cover of private banks. Say, too, as an additional evil, that the disposal funds of individuals, to this great amount, have thus been withdrawn from improvement and useful enterprise, and employed in the useless, usurious and demoralizing practices of bank directors and their accomplices... The States should be applied to, to transfer the right of issuing circulating paper to Congress exclusively, in perpetuum, if possible... Bank paper must be suppressed, and the circulating medium must be restored to the nation to whom it belongs.

When people fear the government, you have tyranny, but when government fears the people, you have liberty.

In questions of power... let no more be heard of confidence in men, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the constitution.

The whole of government consists in the art of being honest.

If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.

If a Nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed.

1st para: 1774, from A Summary View of the Rights of British America, p11 - speaking of the British Empire.
2nd para: 1778, Bill for the More General diffusion of Knowledge.
Letter to John Norvell, June 14th, 1807
Letter to John Taylor (28 May 1816)
letter to George Logan, Nov. 12th, 1816
Letter to John Taylor of Caroline (26 Nov 1798)
Letter to John Wayles Eppes (24 June 1813)
Not got time to document all other quotes. The guy said so much solid stuff.

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