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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1057
AUTHOR: Benjamin Franklin (1706–90)
QUOTATION: Where liberty is, there is my country.

H. L. Mencken, A New Dictionary of Quotations, p. 682 (1942) gives “Where liberty dwells, there is my country,” with a note that this was in a Franklin letter to Benjamin Vaughan, March 14, 1783, but the on-going project, Papers of Benjamin Franklin, has been unable to identify this letter.

Alfred Owen Aldridge, Man of Reason, p. 169 (1959) says, “According to a tradition repeated by many biographers of Paine, Franklin at one time remarked in his hearing: ‘Where liberty is, there is my country….’” Aldridge adds, “the story must be written off as apocryphal.”

Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, 15th ed., p. 367 (1982), attributes this to James Otis, as his motto (Ubi libertas, ibi patria), but this has not been verified in either his speeches or biographical sources. It has also been attributed to Algernon Sidney, but has not been verified in any source.

See also No. 347.