Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.
Thomas Jefferson (17431826)
The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.
THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to Edward Carrington, January 16, 1787.The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian P. Boyd, vol. 11, p. 49 (1955).