"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.
The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is
wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts
they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions,
it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ...
And what country can preserve its liberties, if it's rulers are not
warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of
resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as
to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost
in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from
time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
It is its natural manure."
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Stephens Smith, November 13, 1787
One single object... [will merit] the endless gratitude of the society: that of restraining the judges from usurping legislation.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Edward Livingston, March 25, 1825
The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the dispensation of the public moneys.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Shelton Gilliam, June 19, 1808
The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Abigail Adams, February 22, 1787
To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816