Thomas Jefferson
THOMAS JEFFERSON  Macroknow Library

Thomas Jefferson On Politics & Government.

36. Money & Banking

"Paper is poverty, . . . it is only the ghost of money, and not money itself."1a

"The maxim of buying nothing without the money in our pockets to pay for it would make of our country one of the happiest on earth."1b

"I sincerely believe . . . 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."1c PLATO ARISTOTLE AQUINAS KANT POUND AYOUB

"The idea of creating a national bank I do not concur in, because it seems now decided that Congress has not that power (although I sincerely wish they had it exclusively), and because I think there is already a vast redundancy rather than a scarcity of paper medium."1d

"[The] Bank of the United States . . . is one of the most deadly hostility existing, against the principles and form of our Constitution. . ."1e AYOUB

"There can be no safer deposit on earth than the Treasury of the United States."1f

"The bank mania . . . is raising up a moneyed aristocracy in our country which has already set the government at defiance . . . These have taken deep root in the hearts of that class from which our legislators are drawn, and the sop to Cerberus from fable has become history. . ."1g PAINE MARX AYOUB

"Everything predicted by the enemies of banks, in the beginning, is now coming to pass. We are to be ruined now by the deluge of bank paper. It is cruel that such revolutions in private fortunes should be at the mercy of avaricious adventurers, who, instead of employing their capital, if any they have, in manufactures, commerce, and other useful pursuits, make it an instrument to burden all the interchanges of property with their swindling profits, profits which are the price of no useful industry of theirs."1h PLATO ARISTOTLE AQUINAS

38. The National Debt

" . . . There does not exist an engine so corruptive of the government and so demoralizing of the nation as a public debt. It will bring on us more ruin at home than all the enemies from abroad against whom this army and navy are to protect us."1i KANT SPENGLER AYOUB


  • No legislator should pass legislation dealing with money, banking, or debt,
  • No borrower should borrow a single dollar

without first consulting the Thomas Jefferson quotations collected and edited by Eyler Robert Coates, Sr. (chapters 36 and 38).

Interesting Links
  • Thomas Jefferson On Politics & Government. Quotations from the Writings of Thomas Jefferson. Collected and edited by Eyler Robert Coates, Sr. Metairie, Jefferson Parish, LA. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia, 1995.
  • Thomas Jefferson Digital Archive. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia.
  • The Thomas Jefferson Papers. Washington, DC: The Library of Congress. This project is funded by Reuters America, Inc., and The Reuters Foundation.
  • The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. The Avalon Project at Yale Law School. New Haven, CT: Yale University, 1996-2007.
  • Papers of Thomas Jefferson. Barbara B. Oberg, General Editor. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University. [Projected 60-volume series.]
  • The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University.
  • Thomas Jefferson Papers: An Electronic Archive. Boston, MA: The Massachusetts Historical Society, 2003.
  • The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series. Monticello. Charlottesville, VA: Thomas Jefferson Foundation.
  • Founding Fathers: Quotes on Liberty and Freedom from America's Revolutionaries., 2018,'s quote categories include: Freedom, Voting & Laws, The Right to Bear Arms, Power & Peace, and Resistance Library.


* Italics in the original.

1 Thomas Jefferson On Politics & Government. Quotations from the Writings of Thomas Jefferson. Collected and edited by Eyler Robert Coates, Sr. Metairie, Jefferson Parish, LA. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia, 1995. The references below, provided by Coates, are of the form: SOURCE VOLUME:PAGE; the sources are: ME = Memorial Edition, and FE = Ford Edition.
IV. Government Policy in a Republic
36. Money & Banking

1a Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1788. ME 7:36.
1b Thomas Jefferson to Alexander Donald, 1787. ME 6:192.
Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816. ME 15:23.
1d Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Law, 1813. FE 9:433.
1e Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 1803. ME 10:437.
1f Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette, 1825. ME 19:281.
1g Thomas Jefferson to Josephus B. Stuart, 1817. ME 15:112.
1h Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Cooper, 1814. ME 14:61.
38. The National Debt
1i Thomas Jefferson to Nathaniel Macon, 1821. (The quote was "generalized".) FE 10:193.

  • FE = The Writings of Thomas Jefferson. Edition by Paul Leicester Ford, 10 Vols., New York, 1892-99.
  • ME = The Writings of Thomas Jefferson. Memorial Edition (Lipscomb and Bergh, editors). 20 Vols., Washington, DC, 1903-04.

Updated 20180922.