Quote of the day—Thomas Jefferson (NOT!)

All the terrible instruments of war are the Natural Birth Right of the American citizen.

Attributed to Thomas Jefferson
[Awesome quote!

I received this in email recently and it looked just a little too good to be true. I went searching for it and was only able to find one instance of it. This instance does not appear to be supported by any reference to any of Jefferson’s writings or speeches. I did extensive searches on http://www.monticello.org which I have found to be a good source for Jefferson quotes in the past.

I must conclude this is not correctly attributed to Jefferson.

While searching I did discover two other quotes I had attributed to Jefferson are probably bogus as well. I have update my posts here and here.—Joe]


4 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Thomas Jefferson (NOT!)

  1. You might be thinking this one (emphasis added):

    “The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American … the unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.”

    — Tenche Coxe

    Found it here.

  2. Wasn’t it Sam Goldwyn who said something to the effect that, “I never said all those things I said?”

    Clayton Cramer has a good quote from Abraham Lincoln he posted on January 6, 2011:
    “The problem with Internet quotations is that many are not genuine.” – Abraham Lincoln

    Archer, that may be because these quotes are selected for authority as well as for being on point, and who but a historian or constitutional scholar has even heard of Tenche Coxe. As an amateur in both fields I have heard of him, but until now couldn’t tell you a thing about him or what he said.

Comments are closed.