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Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government (Spurious Quotation)
Quotation: "Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry."
Variations: None known.
Sources consulted: Searching on the words and phrases "tyranny," "legal for the government," "illegal" and "citizenry"
- Monticello website
- Ford's Works of Thomas Jefferson
- L&B (CD-ROM version)
- UVA EText Jefferson Digital Archive: Jeffersonian Cyclopedia, Thomas Jefferson on Politics and Government, Texts by or to Thomas Jefferson from the Modern English Collection
- Thomas Jefferson Retirement Papers
- The Quotable Jefferson (searching in the index under "tyranny")
Earliest known appearance in print: No known appearances in print. 1
Other attributions: None known.
Status: This quotation has not been found in any of the writings of Thomas Jefferson.
- Anna Berkes, 3/17/09
- 1. To establish the earliest appearance of this phrase in print, the following sources were searched for the words, "tyranny," "legal," "government," "illegal," and "citizenry": Google Books, Google Scholar, Amazon.com, America's Historical Newspapers, American Broadsides and Ephemera Series I, Early American Imprints Series I and II, Eighteenth Century Collections Online, 19th Century U.S. Newspapers, American Founding Era Collection, American Periodicals Series Online, JSTOR.