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Full Jefferson Quote-- "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots"

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Thomas Jefferson
(image by wikipedia)

Paul Craig Roberts mentioned Jefferson's quote in my recent interview with him (podcast here.) Then forwarded me this full source of the quote. It was the first time I'd seen it, so I thought it might be of interest to others. Rob Kall

To William S. Smith Paris, Nov. 13, 1787


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-- I am now to acknowledge the receipt of your favors of October the 4th, 8th, & 26th. In the last you apologise for your letters of introduction to Americans coming here. It is so far from needing apology on your part, that it calls for thanks on mine. I endeavor to shew civilities to all the Americans who come here, & will give me opportunities of doing it: and it is a matter of comfort to know from a good quarter what they are, & how far I may go in my attentions to them. Can you send me Woodmason's bills for the two copying presses for the M. de la Fayette, & the M. de Chastellux? The latter makes one article in a considerable account, of old standing, and which I cannot present for want of this article. -- I do not know whether it is to yourself or Mr. Adams I am to give my thanks for the copy of the new constitution.

I beg leave through you to place them where due. It will be yet three weeks before I shall receive them from America. There are very good articles in it: & very bad. I do not know which preponderate. What we have lately read in the history of Holland, in the chapter on the Stadtholder, would have sufficed to set me against a chief magistrate eligible for a long duration, if I had ever been disposed towards one: & what we have always read of the elections of Polish kings should have forever excluded the idea of one continuable for life.

Wonderful is the effect of impudent & persevering lying. The British ministry have so long hired their gazetteers to repeat and model into every form lies about our being in anarchy, that the world has at length believed them, the English nation has believed them, the ministers themselves have come to believe them, & what is more wonderful, we have believed them ourselves. Yet where does this anarchy exist? Where did it ever exist, except in the single instance of Massachusetts? And can history produce an instance of rebellion so honourably conducted?

I say nothing of it's motives. They were founded in ignorance, not wickedness. God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, & 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 a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13. states independent 11. years.

There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century & a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century & half without a rebellion? & what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & 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 & tyrants. It is it's natural manure. Our Convention has been too much impressed by the insurrection of Massachusetts: and in the spur of the moment they are setting up a kite to keep the hen-yard in order. I hope in God this article will be rectified before the new constitution is accepted. -- You ask me if any thing transpires here on the subject of S. America? Not a word. I know that there are combustible materials there, and that they wait the torch only. But this country probably will join the extinguishers. -- The want of facts worth communicating to you has occasioned me to give a little loose to dissertation. We must be contented to amuse, when we cannot inform.

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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Notice that Jefferson's letter was written less th... by E. J. N. on Saturday, Jun 21, 2014 at 7:27:49 PM
Well and thoughtfully put. Thanks. ... by Richmond Shreve on Saturday, Jun 21, 2014 at 8:38:14 PM
In mentioning the rebellion in Massachusetts, Jeff... by John Sanchez Jr. on Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 7:55:15 AM
Then was then and now is now. Have you ever seen o... by Fernando Macias on Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 at 5:26:02 AM
Can be countered and neutralized with weapons made... by Daniel Penisten on Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 at 3:31:44 PM
I can't think of a single example of an incident w... by John Sanchez Jr. on Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 8:11:05 AM
I agree with Jefferson.Hey Rob, would you check th... by Bill Johnson on Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 at 7:53:15 AM
Bill, I read the article the day after it came out... by Rob Kall on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 11:12:39 PM
I am glad you saw this. I was hoping you would. ... by Bill Johnson on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 10:09:10 AM
Ah Jefferson,The eloquent intellectual fascist of ... by Steve Consilvio on Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 at 12:45:40 PM
Abraham Lincoln said: "The principles of Jefferson... by E. J. N. on Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 at 5:04:20 PM
Thanks EJN for all of the history lessons you keep... by Michael Dewey on Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 at 5:47:45 PM
Jefferson was quite correct in his time, regarding... by John Sanchez Jr. on Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 8:01:40 AM
You mean the Lincoln that killed 600,000 of his su... by Steve Consilvio on Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 9:11:12 AM
Southerners prefer to view Lincoln as a ruthless l... by Bill Johnson on Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 10:10:09 AM
Historical societies, eh? Which ones might that be... by John Sanchez Jr. on Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:43:18 AM
The South was hardly blameless. We reap what we so... by Steve Consilvio on Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 12:24:41 PM
Bill, you said, "If we the people can ever recover... by Rob Kall on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 8:36:00 AM
Yes Rob, it is a matter of simple Constitutional l... by Bill Johnson on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 9:46:10 AM
... by Bill Johnson on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 9:47:50 AM
... by Bill Johnson on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 9:48:42 AM
... by Bill Johnson on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 9:49:34 AM
... by Bill Johnson on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 9:50:41 AM
... by Bill Johnson on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 9:51:27 AM
Please don't think anyone wants to return America ... by Bill Johnson on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 9:57:52 AM
What I have shown above in images reveals a deep, ... by Bill Johnson on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 11:09:19 AM
There are a lot of misconceptions floating around ... by E. J. N. on Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:42:33 AM
The revolution was because we didn't know how to t... by Steve Consilvio on Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 12:42:23 PM
I read the Kennedy brothers books. Fantastic! Well... by Bill Johnson on Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 3:13:16 PM
Steve, you say "Lincoln killed 600,000 of his subj... by E. J. N. on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 3:56:11 PM
Did Jefferson donate blood to the "patriot" cause?... by Michael David Morrissey on Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 2:53:53 PM
He wasn't dictating nor even recommending it; he w... by molly cruz on Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 3:23:54 PM
What a treat. when literature brings the mind of s... by molly cruz on Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 3:18:58 PM