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Home » Archives » May 2006 » Oh Please Already With The Jefferson Quote

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05/01/2006: "Oh Please Already With The Jefferson Quote"


Dear Editor:

I have observed for many months now that one of the most popular bumper stickers in the San Juans is "Dissent Is the Highest form of Patriotism--Thomas Jefferson." Assuming that those who sport this sticker are of a critical turn of mind, I would point out that there is no evidence whatever that Thomas Jefferson ever wrote or said such a thing. Related Weekly Nag

The statement has been so often repeated by liberal orators and newspapers that it has become a "fact." But the Jefferson Library (www.monticello.org/quotes) specifically lists this "quote" as Number One is its section of "spurious statements attributed to Jefferson." For several of these false quotes the Library provides the real speaker or writer, but knows of no father for what has become the most famous one.

It would be interesting to learn if this false quote has any ancestry earlier than the past twenty or thirty years.

Yours faithfully,
Don Baker
San Juan Island



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