Skip to main content

View Diary: The Debt is Holy and Must Be Paid! (8 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Jefferson didn't say that (8+ / 0-)

    No matter how many times it's debunked it continues to spread. The link you provided debunks the claim.

    Earliest known appearance in print: 1937

    Status: This quotation is at least partly spurious; see comments below.

    Comments: This quotation is often cited as being in an 1802 letter to Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin, and/or "later published in The Debate Over the Recharter of the Bank Bill (1809)."

    The first part of the quotation ("If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered") has not been found anywhere in Thomas Jefferson's writings, to Albert Gallatin or otherwise. It is identified in Respectfully Quoted as spurious, and the editor further points out that the words "inflation" and "deflation" are not documented until after Jefferson's lifetime.[2]

    The second part of the quotation ("I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies...") may well be a paraphrase of a statement Jefferson made in a letter to John Taylor in 1816. He wrote, "And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale."[3]

    The third part of this quotation ("The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs") may be a misquotation of Jefferson's comment to John Wayles Eppes, "Bank-paper must be suppressed, and the circulating medium must be restored to the nation to whom it belongs."[4]

    This first known occurence in print of the spurious first part with the two other quotations is in 1948, although the spurious portion actually appears after the two other quotations.[5]

    Lastly, we have not found a record of any publication called The Debate Over the Recharter of the Bank Bill. There was certainly debate over the recharter of the National Bank leading up to its expiration in 1811, but a search of Congressional documents of that period yields none of the verbiage discussed above.

    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

    by Just Bob on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 11:07:49 AM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site