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Spurious Quotations

A collection of quotations commonly misattributed to Thomas Jefferson.

Discussion

says

Here's the link to the page I noted on my recent query:
http://www.thefederalistpapers.org/founders/jefferson/the-patriot-like-t...

says

This has come up linked to a page calling itself "The Federalist Papers." This quote is about midway through a letter from TJ to James Sullivan of Massachusetts, May 21, 1805. Is it genuine?
"The patriot, like the Christian, must learn that to bear revielings & persecutions is a part of his duty; and in proportion as the trial is severe, firmness under it becomes more requisite & praiseworthy. It requires, indeed, self-command. But that will be fortified in proportion as the calls for it’s exercise are repeated."

says

Hi Steve,

This is a genuine Jefferson quote. Here's the Princeton transcription - not in finished form yet, but available through the Early Access documents program: http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/99-01-02-1763.

says

A supposed Thomas Jefferson quote I've seen tossed around a lot in the wake of the shutdown and near default goes something like "you get the government you deserve" or "citizens get the government they deserve."

I don't find it under real quotes or spurious ones. Can you help?

says

Hi Michael - this is not Jefferson, but according to the Yale Book of Quotations, Joseph de Maistre: "Toute nation a le gouvernement qu'elle mérite." ("Every country has the government it deserves.") - Lettres et Opuscules Inédits vol. I., no. 53 (1851) (letter of 15 Aug. 1811)

says

Help!

Two versions, neither of which I can confirm, but which are all over the internet now (immigration debate must be heating up):

Version 1: A country without secure borders is no country.

Version 2: A nation without secure borders is no nation.

Am I safe in saying either version is probably bogus?

says

Yes, I think it's safe to say this isn't Jefferson - I don't find this in any of his writings.

says

"Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours its own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich upon the poor."
Jefferson, or not?

says

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Letter_to_Edward_Carrington_-_January_16,_...

"It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions; and experience declares that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the governments of Europe, and to the general prey of the rich on the poor."

says

Yes, that is a genuine Jefferson quote. Generally, when you see a recipient name and a date, you can assume that someone has done their homework. Still it's always best to confirm, so here's a link to the full text of the letter at the Founders Online, which just opened to the public this month:

http://founders.archives.gov/?q=%22animal+which+devours%22&s=1111311111&...

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