FACT CHECK: Did Thomas Jefferson Say, ‘Freedom Is Lost Gradually From An Uninterested, Uninformed And Unresponsive People’?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims that Thomas Jefferson once said, “Freedom is lost gradually from an uninterested, uninformed and uninvolved people.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that Thomas Jefferson ever said or wrote this quote.

Fact Check:

Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence and the 3rd President of the United States, has been erroneously credited with many quotes on the internet, especially those concerning freedom, rights and governance. (RELATED: Did Thomas Jefferson Say, ‘Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty?’)

The Daily Caller found no record of the expression in Jefferson’s written works. A search of his estate at Monticello’s collection of his letters and quotes also did not yield any results.

“We have never been able to find any source that confirms that these are words written or spoken by Thomas Jefferson,” confirmed Lisa Francavilla of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation in an email to the Caller. “It is therefore what we call ‘spurious’ or ‘misattributed.'”

In 2013, conservative writer Cal Thomas included the misattributed quote in a column for the Washington Examiner.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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