The two enemies of the people...(Quotation)

From Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia

"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first." So far we have been unable to locate such a statement in any of Jefferson's writings. He did employ the phrase "chains of the Constitution" at least once, however, in the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798: " questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the constitution..." (from draft)[1]


  1. PTJ 30:529-556. Also made available online by the Papers of Thomas Jefferson at