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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1245
AUTHOR: Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826)
QUOTATION: The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were 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. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.
ATTRIBUTION: THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to Edward Carrington, January 16, 1787.—The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian P. Boyd, vol. 11, p. 49 (1955).
SUBJECTS: Newspapers