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Spurious Quotations

A collection of quotations commonly misattributed to Thomas Jefferson.




This quote. attributed to Thomas Jefferson, is making the rounds of political forums:

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not”

Is this a fake quote, a real T.J. quote, or a quote belonging to someone else?



The "I never considered a difference of opinion..." quotation is legitimate -- that was in a letter to William Hamilton (Ford Ed., vii, 441, Pa, 1800)


How about this one? “I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” - Thomas Jefferson.. This has been going around Facebook.


HanClinto is right - this one is genuine, and we've put a page up on it with details because it has definitely been making the rounds lately:


Is this one spurious?

"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading."


Spurious too - we've got a page up now on this one:

says is quoting Jefferson in an ad for Salon Core: All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.

Spurious, isn't it?


Michael, sorry for the long delay on this. Yes, it is spurious - I've put up a page on this quotation here:



I'm sure you'll get a more direct response soon. But in the meantime, check out this blog post from our Research Librarian Anna Berkes:

Hunting the Wily Jefferson Quotation (Episode 1)

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