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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

AUTHOR: Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826)
QUOTATION: Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independant, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to it’s liberty and interests by the most lasting bands. As long therefore as they can find emploiment in this line, I would not convert them into mariners, artisans, or any thing else. But our citizens will find emploiment in this line till their numbers, and of course their productions, become too great for the demand both internal and foreign.
ATTRIBUTION: THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to John Jay, August 23, 1785.—The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian P. Boyd, vol. 8, p. 426 (1953).
SUBJECTS: Agriculture