Sourcing Thomas Jefferson quotes: “A country with no border . . .”

A group calling itself “Patriotic Moms” claims to quote Thomas Jefferson:

Thomas Jefferson 3x4

Thomas Jefferson said a lot, and kept careful records of about 15,000 letters — but did he ever say a country without a border is not a country? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“A country with no Border is not a country.”

I can’t find that in Jefferson’s writings.  Anybody know if Jefferson said or wrote anything like that?  Got a citation?

Is this another fake Jefferson quote?

Update:  My determination is that no, Jefferson did not say it at all.

More, reference:

9 Responses to Sourcing Thomas Jefferson quotes: “A country with no border . . .”

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    “A country with a liar for a president is worse than a country with no borders.”

    – Ed Darrell, February 15, 2019, in response to Oresident Trump’s border emergency hoax.


  2. Ed Darrell says:

    Rosemary, turns out it wasn’t Reagan, either. It was an obscure Congressman from Indiana, a guy named Mike Pence.


  3. Ed Darrell says:

    Reagan was probably a writer for Jefferson — in Reagan’s mind, anyway.


  4. Rosemary Marshall says:

    “A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation.” ~~ Ronald Reagan. The difference is control. (Maybe Jefferson stole it from Reagan??? lol)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. JamesK says:

    First off, higgens, you’re quite’s hard to prove a negative.

    Which is why if one can’t prove that Jefferson did say the quote it’s safe to assume he didn’t.

    But judging from several right wing blogs that claim that Reagan said “A nation without borders is not a nation.” I would suspect that the quote is really Reagan’s and not Jefferson’s.

    It wouldn’t exactly be the first time someone on the right side of the spectrum falsely attributed a sentence to Jefferson. *coughs* David Barton *coughs*


  6. Ed Darrell says:

    Mike Pence, congressman from Indiana? That’s a long, long way from Jefferson. No connection.


  7. Ed Darrell says:

    Who the heck is Pence?

    But finding the quote from Pence also takes us a step farther away from attributing it to Jefferson.

    In serious history study, we don’t make claims based on speculation. If we can’t find a clear reference with good citations, we do not cite the quote to Jefferson. To do otherwise is known in academic circles as “lying like a rug.”


    has this quote attributed to pence

    which of course does not mean jefferson did not say it

    it is always hard to prove a negative


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