Extract from Thomas Jefferson to “Henry Tompkinson” (Samuel Kercheval)

I am not among those who fear the people. they and not the rich, are our dependance for continued freedom. and to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt ... if we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries & our comforts, in our labors & our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor 16. hours in the 24. give the earnings of 15. of these to the government for their debts and daily expences; and the 16th being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal & potatoes.

PoC (DLC). Published in PTJRS, 10:220–8.
Date Range
July 12, 1816
Quote Category