An oldie but goody from Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), author of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1777), founder of the University of Virginia (1819), third president of the United States (1801–1809), political philosopher, editor of Jefferson’s Bible (1819), and one of the most influential founders of the United States, letter to William Stephens Smith (1787):
There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. 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 it’s natural manure.