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Dear Quote Investigator: A large number that the quote attributed to thomas Jefferson room apocryphal; hence, I have actually learned to be cautious. Carry out you understand whether the adhering to remark is indigenous the pen of Jefferson?

Honesty is the very first chapter that the publication wisdom.

You are watching: Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom

Any assist would it is in appreciated.

Quote Investigator: thomas Jefferson sent out a two web page letter to Nathaniel Macon on January 12, 1819. The saying about honesty showed up on the 2nd page. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 1

Whether the succeeding generation is come be an ext virtuous 보다 their predecessors, ns cannot say; yet I am sure they will have an ext worldly wisdom, and enough, i hope, to know that honesty is the 1st chapter in the book of wisdom.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

The website that the U.S. Library of conference hosts photos of plenty of important historical documents. Listed below is a reduced-size picture of the second page the Jefferson’s letter include the quotation. Lines added by QI ~ above the left and right that the page indicate the place of the remark.

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Between 1892 and 1899 a ten volume series presenting “The works of cutting board Jefferson” was released under the editorship of Paul Leicester Ford. A transcription of the 1819 letter was included. The handwritten letter consisted of “1st”, but the transcription had “first”: 2

Whether the doing well generation is to be an ext virtuous than their predecessors, i cannot say ; but I am sure they will certainly have more worldly wisdom, and enough, ns hope, to recognize that honesty is the first chapter in the publication of wisdom.

In 1900 “The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia: A considerable Collection that the see of thomas Jefferson” edited by man P. Foley appeared. This reference consisted of the speak under exploration and also pointed to Ford’s multi-volume work: 3

Honesty is the very first chapter in the publication of wisdom.–To Nathaniel Macon. Vii, 112. Ford ed., x, 122. (M., 1819.)

The an important Monticello website the the thomas Jefferson foundation has a webpage about the quotation i beg your pardon cites the 1819 letter from Jefferson come Macon. 4

In conclusion, thomas Jefferson have to receive credit transaction for the words around honesty he created in the letter date January 12, 1819.

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Image Notes: photo of Monticello, the former residence of cutting board Jefferson in Charlottesville, Virginia native skeeze at Pixabay.

(Great many thanks to Andrew Wetzel who inquiry led QI to build this question and also perform this exploration.)


Posted ~ above July 22, 2019July 22, 2019Author quoteresearchCategories thomas JeffersonTags thomas Jefferson

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