Snopes.com is calling shenanigans on an email being circulated regarding some harsh words TJ allegedly wrote on banking. Snopes specifically calls out the following words as bogus:
If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.
They further site these words, sometimes tacked on to the end of the previous paragraph, as being similiarly false:
We are completely saddled and bridled, and the bank is so firmly mounted on us that we must go where they ill guide. The dominion which the banking institutions have obtained over the minds of our citizens … must be broken, or it will break us.
Jefferson’s healthy distrust of banking was real, however, and something he wasn’t afraid to speak out on so its not like these alleged quotes are totally misrepresenting his opinions. Here’s an example of the “soundbite effect” where someone (or someones) over the years tweaking a legit writing for attention-challenged modern readers:
And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.
(from a letter to John Wayles Eppes dated 24 June 1813)
“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies”
They say the same thing, but if you are going to quote, you’ve got to give it like he said it, not the Spark Notes edition in modern