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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

AUTHOR: Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (1746–1825)
QUOTATION: No; no; not a sixpence.
ATTRIBUTION: CHARLES COTESWORTH PINCKNEY, American minister to France, letter to Timothy Pickering, October 27, 1797, relating the American response to a French request for a tribute or bribe.—State Papers and Publick Documents of the United States, 3d ed., vol. 3, p. 492 (1819). The French had seized several American ships.

The wording of this quotation usually reads: “… not a penny.” For further discussion of the wording used by Pinckney and of the quotation frequently but mistakenly attributed to Pinckney—“Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute,” actually said by Robert Goodloe Harper—see The Home Book of Quotations, ed. Burton Stevenson, 10th ed., p. 63 (1967) and “Notes and Queries,” South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, vol. 1, pp. 100–103, 178–79 (1901).
SUBJECTS: Government spending