Newspapers Without a Government

If the people are informed, they will govern themselves.
— Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson

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Further Reading

  • Founders Online: From Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 16 January 1787, Jefferson: "[W]ere it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."
  • Founders Online: From Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 9 September 1792, Jefferson: "No government ought to be without censors: and where the press is free, no one ever will. If virtuous, it need not fear the fair operation of attack and defence. Nature has given to man no other means of sifting out the truth either in religion, law, or politics."
  • UVA Miller Center: Thomas Jefferson, Campaigns and Elections: "With Jefferson as President, so warned one newspaper, 'Murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest will be openly taught and practiced, the air will be rent with the cries of the distressed, the soil will be soaked with blood, and the nation black with crimes.'"

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