Earliest known appearance in print: No known appearances in print.
Other attributions: None known.
Status: This quotation has not been found in any of the writings of Thomas Jefferson.
Comments: This quotation seems to have originated in an article of the same title on PicktheBusiness.com.1 It is an accurate paraphrase of Jefferson's views on education, but the exact phrasing seems to belong to the author of the article, and not Jefferson. The article title appears to have been mistaken by others as a direct quotation from Jefferson's 1816 letter to Charles Yancey, which is mentioned in the article, but the exact quotation does not appear in that letter or in any other known Jefferson writings.
- Anna Berkes, March 30, 2010; revised August 24, 2011
Jefferson to Charles Yancey, January 6, 1816, in Ford, 10:1-4. Polygraph copy at the Library of Congress.
Coates, Eyler Robert, Sr. Thomas Jefferson on Politics & Government. "Educating the People." A selection of Jefferson quotations on the importance of education in a democracy.