A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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“This whiskey tastes like I’m about to tell you how I really feel” (3/27)
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Entry from November 21, 2009
“When the people fear the government, you have tyranny”

Entry in progress—B.P.

Wikiquote: Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 – 4 July 1826) was the third president of the United States (1801–1809), author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), a political philosopher, and one of the most influential founders of the United States.
(...)
Misattributed
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Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty.
. Barnhill, John Basil (1914). “Indictment of Socialism No. 3” (PDF). Barnhill-Tichenor Debate on Socialism. Saint Louis, Missouri: National Rip-Saw Publishing. pp. p. 34. Retrieved on 2008-10-16. 
. Variant: When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.

Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia
Quotation: “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”
Variations:
“When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
“Does the government fear us? Or do we fear the government? When the people fear the government, tyranny has found victory. The federal government is our servant, not our master!”
Sources consulted: Searching on the phrase “fear the people,” “government fear us,” “fear the government,” “tyranny has found victory,” and “government is our servant”
1. Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition
2. Monticello website
3, Ford’s Works of Thomas Jefferson
4. UVA EText Jefferson Digital Archive: Jeffersonian Cyclopedia, Thomas Jefferson on Politics and Government, Texts by or to Thomas Jefferson from the Modern English Collection
5. Thomas Jefferson Retirement Papers
6. Quotable Jefferson, ed. Kaminski (searching under “tyranny")
7. Bartleby.com
Earliest known appearance in print: 1914
Earliest known appearance in print, attributed to Thomas Jefferson: 1994
Other attributions: Samuel Adams, Thomas Paine
Status: We have not found any evidence that Thomas Jefferson said or wrote, “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny,” or any of its listed variations.
Comments: One source attributes this quotation to Thomas Jefferson in The Federalist. The Federalist, however, was the work of Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison; it also does not contain the text of this quotation. This quotation is vaguely similar to Jefferson’s comment in an 1825 letter to William Short: “Some are whigs, liberals, democrats, call them what you please. Others are tories, serviles, aristocrats, &c. The latter fear the people, and wish to transfer all power to the higher classes of society; the former consider the people as the safest depository of power in the last resort; they cherish them therefore, and wish to leave in them all the powers to the exercise of which they are competent.” To date however, the most likely source of this quotation appears to be a series of debates on socialism published in 1914, in which John Basil Barnhill said, “Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty.”

Zazzle.com
Jefferson: Liberty vs. Tyranny Posters by My2Cents
When the people fear the government, there is tyranny;
when the government fears the people, there is liberty.
THOMAS JEFFERSON

HathiTrust Digital Library
Google Books
The American Anti-Socialist
1912 (The date is not certain—ed.)
Pg. 34 ("The Barnhill-Tichenor Debate on Socialism"):
Indictment of Socialism No. 3
By John Basil Barnhart
(...)
1. Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty.
HathiTrust Digital Library
January 1914, The American Anti-Socialist, pg. 66:
Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty.—John Basil Barnhill.

Indiana State University
Barnhill-Tichenor Debate on Socialism
St. Louis, MO: The National Rip-Saw Publishing Company
1914
Pg. 34:
Indictment of Socialism No. 3
By John Basil Barnhill
When my Sweatbox has failed to effect a cure—and I have rarely known it to fail—I have to recourse then to a series of knockout drops, a few of which are here appended:

1. Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty.

8 August 1989, Oelwein (IA) Daily Register, Open forum, pg. 2, col. 2:
Remember, where the people fear the government, we have tyranny. Where the government fears the people, we have liberty...but that doesn’t mean to give you the right to burn our most precious flag that millions have died for.
(Signed)
Marvin J. Kainz
Garnaville

15 April 1991, Sacramento (CA) Bee, “Fighting the IRS”:
Where the people fear the government there is tyranny and where the government fears the people there is liberty.

Google Books
Programming, Pitfalls and Puppy-Dog Tales
By Gyeorgos C. Hatonn
Las Vegas, NV: Phoenix Source Distributors, Inc.
1993
Pg. 60:
Another of our Founders said: “WHEN THE GOVERNMENT FEARS THE PEOPLE THERE IS LIBERTY; WHEN THE PEOPLE FEAR THE GOVERNMENT THERE IS TYRANNY.”

21 February 1994, Newsday (Long Island, NY), “His Crusade: Taxpayer Rights” by Collin Nash, pg. 16:
“When the taxpayers fear the government, you have tyranny. When the government fears the taxpayers, you have liberty.”

25 April 1994, St. Petersburg (FL) Times, Letters, pg. 9A: 
The saying goes - when people fear the government, that is tyranny - when the government fears the people, that is truly liberty. 

Google Books
It’s All in the Game: Butterflies, Mind Control—The Razor’s Edge
By Gyeorgos C. Hatonn
Las Vegas, NV: Phoenix Source Publishers, Inc.
1994
Pg. 214:
“When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny.”
-- Thomas Jefferson

Google Books
Do the right thing: the people’s economist speaks
By Walter Edward Williams
Stanford, CA: Hoover Institute Press
1995
Pg. 149:
Thomas Jefferson observed, “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

Center for Defense Information
“Second Amendment Warriors: Militias and American Society”
INITIAL BROADCAST: 30 July 1995
CONDITION OF USE: Credit “AMERICA’S DEFENSE MONITOR”
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“Jefferson said that when the government fears the people, you have what? Liberty. But when the people fear the government, you have tyranny. You know the words. You know the words.”

Google Groups: talk.politics.drugs
Newsgroups: talk.politics.guns, talk.politics.drugs, talk.politics.medicine, talk.abortion, alt.society.generation-x, alt.politics.homosexuality
Followup-To: alt.politics.homosexuality
From: ()
Date: 1996/06/22
Subject: Re: Gay Rights? Or the Bill of Rights?

“Does the government fear us?  Or do we fear the government?  When the people fear the government, tyranny has found victory.  The federal government is our servant, not our master!”
-- Thomas Jefferson

New York (NY) Times
McVEIGH GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS IN THE OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING; JURY TO WEIGH DEATH PENALTY
By JO THOMAS
Published: Tuesday, June 3, 1997
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Among his belongings in the car was a slip of paper that carried a quote from Samuel Adams: ‘’When the Government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the Government, there is tyranny.’’ Underneath, in Mr. McVeigh’s handwriting, was the note, ‘’Maybe now, there will be liberty.’’

The Glenn Beck Program
Glenn’s red pill
May 8, 2009 - 12:20 ET
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Thomas Jefferson said a government, where a government is afraid of its people, there is liberty. Where the people are afraid of their government, there is tyranny.

Glenn Beck - FOXNews.com
Thank You, California Voters
Friday, May 22, 2009
By Glenn Beck
(...)
As Thomas Jefferson famously said, “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”

Thomas Jefferson (JeffersonTh) on Twitter
“When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” That was John Basil Barnhill.
4:25 PM Oct 20th from web

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Saturday, November 21, 2009 • Permalink