The tree of liberty...(Quotation)

From Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia

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"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it's natural manure." - Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, Paris, 13 Nov. 1787[1]


  1. PTJ 12:356. Letterpress copy at the Library of Congress: A transcription of this letter from Ford is available at

Further Sources

Monticello Podcast: Jefferson's Words: Three Letters on the new U.S. Constitution includes audio of the letter that contains this quote, as read by Bill Barker, who interprets Thomas Jefferson at Colonial Williamsburg.