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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

AUTHOR: Jonathan Westover, a fictitious person
QUOTATION: We have a choice: to plow new ground or let the weeds grow.
ATTRIBUTION: Attributed to Jonathan Westover, a fictitious person.

This sentence originally appeared in a Virginia Department of Agriculture report for fiscal year 1958–1959 entitled Plowed Ground. When the authors were pushed by a deadline and unable to find the kind of quotation they wanted, they made one up. In January 1970 the sentence was used on the cover of a Virginia Mental Health Commission report, This Commonwealth’s Commitment. An effort to learn more about Westover after this report appeared uncovered the origin of the sentence.—Richmond Times-Dispatch, January 26, 1970, p. B1.
SUBJECTS: Decision