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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Entry from August 15, 2010
“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies”

Entry in progress—B.P.

Bartleby.com
Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations.  1989.
NUMBER: 1204
AUTHOR: Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826)
QUOTATION: If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.
ATTRIBUTION: Attributed to THOMAS JEFFERSON. Although Jefferson was opposed to paper money, this quotation is obviously spurious. Inflation was listed in Webster’s dictionary of 1864, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, but the OED gives 1920 as the earliest use of deflation.

Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia
Quotation: “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered...I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies… The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

Variations:
1. “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.”
2. “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies...”
3. “The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”
(...)
Earliest known appearance in print: 1937
Other attributions: None known.
Status: This quotation is at least partly spurious; see comments below.
Comments: This quotation is often cited as being in an 1802 letter to Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin, and/or “later published in The Debate Over the Recharter of the Bank Bill (1809).”

The first part of the quotation ("If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered") has not been found anywhere in Thomas Jefferson’s writings, to Albert Gallatin or otherwise. It is identified in Respectfully Quoted as spurious, and the editor further points out that the words “inflation” and “deflation” are not documented until after Jefferson’s lifetime.

The second part of the quotation ("I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies...") may well be a paraphrase of a statement Jefferson made in a letter to John Taylor in 1816. He wrote, “And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”

The third part of this quotation ("The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs") may be a misquotation of Jefferson’s comment to John Wayles Eppes, “Bank-paper must be suppressed, and the circulating medium must be restored to the nation to whom it belongs.”

Lastly, we have not found a record of any publication called The Debate Over the Recharter of the Bank Bill. There was certainly debate over the recharter of the National Bank leading up to its expiration in 1811, but a search of Congressional documents of that period yields none of the verbiage discussed above.

Google Books
Life work of Thomas L. Nugent
Edited by Catherine Nugent
Stephenville, TX: C. Nugent
1896
Pg. 150:
National banks were always the pet aversion of the old democracy. THomas Jefferson, in a letter to Albert Gallatin, Dec. 13, 1793, writing of the national banking system, said: “This institution is one of the most deadly hostility existing against the principles and forms of the constitution.” On another occasion he writes: “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a money aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it preperly belongs. Let banks exist, but let them bank upon coin or treasury notes.”

Google Books
August 1906, Watson’s Magazine, pg. 196:
“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a money aristocracy that has set the Government at defiance.”
“The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the Government and the people to whom it properly belongs. Let banks exist, but let them bank upon coin or treasury notes.”—Thomas Jefferson.

16 January 1933, Dallas (TX) Morning News, Letters From Readers, sec. 1, pg. 4:
Thomas Jefferson said:

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”
(...)
WRIGHT PATMAN.
545 House Office Bldg.,
Washington, D. C.

Google Books
Money! Questions and Answers
By Charles E Coughlin
Royal Oak, MI: National Union for Social Justice
1936
Pg. 167:
QUOTATIONS FROM PROMINENT MEN
Thomas Jefferson said: “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Sunday, August 15, 2010 • Permalink