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Historical Error #12: A Bogus Quotation from Jefferson on Banks

Gary North
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Ellen Brown loves to quote from the Founding Fathers. It's a shame that so many of her quotations are fakes. Here is one.

Jefferson is quoted as saying:

If the American people ever allow the banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property, until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers occupied. [Web of Debt, p. 76]

It took me about two minutes to track down this whopper. This, of course, was way too much time for lawyer Brown to invest. I found it on Wikiquotes.

If the American people ever allow the banks to control the issuance of their currency (instead of Congress), first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers occupied.

Attributed to Thomas Jefferson, letter to then Secretary of the Treasury, Albert Gallatin, 1802. The book Respectfully Quoted says this is "obviously spurious", noting that the OED's earliest citation for the word "deflation" is from 1920. The earliest known appearance of this quote is from 1935 (Testimony of Charles C. Mayer, Hearings Before the Committee on Banking and Currency, House of Representatives, Seventy-fourth Congress, First Session, on H.R. 5357, p. 799)

It would have paid lawyer Brown to verify her quotations. If she drops them now, I will get the credit among the more knowledgeable of her readers. This is not the way self-professed experts want to be perceived.

If she refuses to drop them, she will be perceived as a charlatan.

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive." (Note: I did not say this first. Neither did Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, or Nathan Rothschild.)

She now admits that the quote was bogus.

http://www.garynorth.com/public/7166.cfm

For a detailed critique of Ellen Brown's economics, go here:

http://www.garynorth.com/public/department141.cfm
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