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"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."
Thomas Jefferson (more quotes by Thomas Jefferson or books by/about Thomas Jefferson)
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
November 13, 1787, letter to William S. Smith, quoted in Padover's Jefferson On Democracy, ed., 1939
Arms, Death, Despotism, God, Guns, Liberty, Militia, Patriotism, President, Rebellion, Resistance, Tyranny