When I got the right-wing email with the "Jefferson Quotes", I just hit reply all and wrote, "Yeah Jefferson was brilliant! Check out these quotes."


I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.

- Thomas Jefferson

"The end of democracy and the defeat of the American revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of the lending institutions and moneyed incorporations." Thomas Jefferson speaking on the first attempt to establish a central bank in America


"Many of the opposition [to the new Federal Constitution] wish to

take from Congress the power of internal taxation. Calculation

has convinced me that this would be very mischievous." --Thomas

Jefferson to William Carmichael, 1788.

"Taxes should be proportioned to what may be annually spared by

the individual." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1784.

"Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is

to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the

higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they

rise." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1785.

Import Tariffs

"The rich alone use imported articles, and on these alone the

whole taxes of the General Government are levied... Our revenues

liberated by the discharge of the public debt, and its surplus

applied to canals, roads, schools, etc., the farmer will see

his government supported, his children educated, and the face of

his country made a paradise by the contributions of the rich

alone, without his being called on to spend a cent from his

earnings." --Thomas Jefferson to Thaddeus Kosciusko, 1811.

Public Education

"A system of general instruction, which shall reach every

description of our citizens from the richest to the poorest, as

it was the earliest, so will it be the latest of all the public

concerns in which I shall permit myself to take an interest."

--Thomas Jefferson to Joseph C. Cabell, 1818.


"The poor who have neither property, friends, nor strength to

labor, are boarded in the houses of good farmers, to whom a

stipulated sum is annually paid. To those who are able to help

themselves a little, or have friends from whom they derive some

succor, inadequate however to their full maintenance,

supplementary aids are given which enable them to live

comfortably in their own houses, or in the houses of their

friends. --Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia, 1782.


"I think the truth must now be obvious that our people are too

happy at home to enter into regular service, and that we cannot be

defended but by making every citizen a soldier, as the Greeks and

Romans who had no standing armies; and that in doing this all

must be marshaled, classed by their ages, and every service

ascribed to its competent class. --Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles

Eppes, 1814.


Tao Jonesing's picture
Tao Jonesing 9 years 9 weeks ago

Be careful with Jefferson quotes. A lot of them are fictitious. Some are cobbled together from numerous things he actually said. Many others are completely made up. These appear to be legit, though.

Teri Pettit's picture
Teri Pettit 7 years 35 weeks ago

The top two are spurious.


I haven't examined the rest of them, but that Monticello Jefferson Library web site has a search engine and has indexed vast quantities of Jefferson's writings by keyword, even the ones that are seldom quoted. And it has scans of a lot of the original documents.

anonymous green 7 years 35 weeks ago

I thought he was a drum major for smuggling tea!

Thanks for clearing this up.

Real Tea

Real Party

The Stalk Market Report; Jan 17, 2012

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