Monday, September 22, 2008

Thomas Jefferson Weighs In From 1802?

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. 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. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs."

Thomas Jefferson, Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin (1802) 3rd president of US (1743 - 1826)


The quote, however, appears to be apocryphal, according to the annotations included in the quote's entry in The Jefferson Encyclopedia.

4 comments:

Sherri said...

I just received an email of Jefferson quotes and found your blog while researching it to see if the quote regarding banks was accurate. I lived in Virginia for many years before moving to Florida and have long held a high regard for Mr. Jefferson. A tour of Monticello is a testament to his genius.

Enjoyed reading your blog while I was confirming that he had, in fact, written this warning.

Brings cold chills.

Puzzled said...

Actually, Sherri, you'll see at the end of my post that there is some question as to whether Thomas Jefferson really did write these words. From the web page linked:

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" did not come into use until 1864 and 1920, respectively.[3]

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."[4]

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") has not been found in any of Jefferson's writings. In fact, he said something rather different in 1813: "The States should be applied to, to transfer the right of issuing circulating paper to Congress exclusively, in perpetuum, if possible..."[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.


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Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting, Sherri.

CJ said...

I would like to criticize your interpretation of jeffersons quote here:

"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") has not been found in any of Jefferson's writings. In fact, he said something rather different in 1813: "The States should be applied to, to transfer the right of issuing circulating paper to Congress exclusively, in perpetuum, if possible..."[5]"

you say that "he said something quite different". Actually the false and the true quote are saying the same thing.

let me explain, if congress were to issue its own currency exclusively, that action alone would be "taking the power of issuing currency from the banks and restoring back to the people". right now, private banks issue our currency through fractional reserve lending and the private federal reserve bank. This system has gone back and fourth through history. our current system is this way and was established by the federal reserve act of 1913. for a break down of what i am saying visit themoneymasters.com and read the FAQ's

CJ said...

I would like to criticize your interpretation of jeffersons quote here:

"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") has not been found in any of Jefferson's writings. In fact, he said something rather different in 1813: "The States should be applied to, to transfer the right of issuing circulating paper to Congress exclusively, in perpetuum, if possible..."[5]"

you say that "he said something quite different". Actually the false and the true quote are saying the same thing.

let me explain, if congress were to issue its own currency exclusively, that action alone would be "taking the power of issuing currency from the banks and restoring back to the people". right now, private banks issue our currency through fractional reserve lending and the private federal reserve bank. This system has gone back and fourth through history. our current system is this way and was established by the federal reserve act of 1913. for a break down of what i am saying visit themoneymasters.com and read the FAQ's