Brown Daily Herald removes fake Thomas Jefferson quote from column

Brown Daily Herald columnist Oliver Hudson replied to critics of his “Universal Suffrage is Immoral” column with what he said was this quote from Thomas Jefferson: “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51 percent of the people may take away the rights of the other 49.”

Jefferson and Hudson

A Herald editor’s note put on the end of Hudson’s response to “my outraged readers” says: “While this quote has been attributed to Jefferson in the past, it has not been verified and historical sources contain no record of it. Due to its unknown origin, it has been removed from the column.”

Monica Hesse mentioned the quote in a 2007 Washington Post piece. “Sorry, guys,” she wrote. “[Jefferson] never said it. The folks at Monticello’s research library witheringly say that old saw has been dogging him for years.”

* Columnist uses fake Thomas Jefferson quote in controversial column (