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Famous Quotations

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anne's picture
Anna: "Taste cannot be controlled by law." Genuine TJ quote or spurious? Thanks!
Anne
Peter Pitchford's picture
This is all over the net, but I do not see any reliable sourcing. Can you verify that it is real please? “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” ― Thomas Jefferson Thank you
Peter Pitchford
aberkes's picture
I'm afraid it's not, Peter - I have created a page on it here: http://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/if-you-want-something-you-have-never-had-quotation
Anna Berkes
John Lloyd Scharf_2's picture
Not only did Jefferson not say it, it is contrary to his concept of having a natural aristocracy in charge. See his letter to John Adams from Monticello, October 28, 1813.
John Lloyd Scharf_2
sharonhetherington's picture
Dear Anna, Did Mr. Jefferson really say, "When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on." Thank you! Doubtful, too.
Shaz
aberkes's picture
Dear Shaz, You are right to doubt this one: http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/when-you-reach-end-your-rope-tie-knot-it-and-hang-quotation
Anna Berkes
epictetus's picture
Thanks for that Anna. On a separate issue, I wonder why this famous, but correct, quote from Mr Jefferson's 1st inaugural is not listed among the famous ones? "Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it."
Chris
lfrancavilla's picture
Hi Chris, you can find your real TJ quote, as well as hundreds of others with their proper citations, here: http://retirementseries.dataformat.com/Document.aspx?doc=150954674
Lisa at the ptjrs
aberkes's picture
Hi Chris, We usually will only address specific (real) Jefferson quotations with their own page if there is some question about them, or they seem to be getting asked about fairly frequently. This is not one that people have been asking about, to my knowledge, but I might consider putting it in one of the topical quotation collections we have on our site.
Anna Berkes
epictetus's picture
Is this genuine TJ?: "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent" Thanks
Chris
epictetus's picture
Seen in several places, including the net and attributed to TJ: "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent". Is it genuine TJ or not? Thanks.
Chris
aberkes's picture
Hi Chris - Nope, it's not a Jefferson quote. I've got a page up on this one now: http://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/all-tyranny-needs-to-gain-footholdquotation
Anna Berkes
Steve Myers's picture
Seen on the Net attributed to TJ: "The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself, or be ruled by a small elite." Can't find it here, on your search bar, or in the Spurious list. It sounds consistent with his ideas, but I'm not so sure about the language.
Steve Myers
aberkes's picture
Steve, that quotation is nowhere to be found in Jefferson's papers as far as I can tell.
Anna Berkes

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