Quotation by Thomas Jefferson

What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), U.S. president. letter, Nov. 13, 1787. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 12, Julian P. Boyd (1955).

Referring to Daniel Shays's Rebellion of poor farmers in Massachusetts; Jefferson, writing from Paris, was the only one of the American leaders not alarmed by news of the revolt.
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