Extract from a Reported Comment made by Thomas Jefferson, as Recalled by Martha J. Trist Burke

My father read law under Mr Jefferson’s direction, and once became uncertain in his own mind whether the practice of law was compatible with perfect truthfulness, he once asked Mr Jefferson “do you believe in he once said to Mr Jefferson “I have made up my mind never to utter a word with my lips, which I do not believe in my heart, do you think that such a course is compatible with success in the practice of law?” Mr Jefferson’s reply was “Sir if you can establish that fact in the mind of the community you will have attained a position which will render you perfectly invincible.” This was related to us this evening by my dear husband as we sat around the fire in our parlor”

M. J. T. Burke

I had heard my father once mention the above fact, but I was at the time very young & it had escaped my memory!

M. J. T. B.
Tr (Martha J. Trist Burke Commonplace Book, privately owned); dateline between signature and postscript.
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Martha J. Trist Burke
Date Range
September 25, 1887
Quotes by and about Thomas Jefferson
Privately owned
Quote Category