Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr

it is of great importance to set a resolution, never not to be shaken, never to tell an untruth. there is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible & he who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second & third time, till at length it becomes habitual, he tells lies without attending to it, & truths without the world’s beleiving him. this falshood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, & in time depraves all it’s good dispositions.

PrC (DLC). Published in PTJ, 8:405–08.
Date Range
August 19, 1785
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