"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its 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 its natural manure.
"I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government." A few things were left out in the middle.
The primary right being upheld by Jefferson and our forefathers was "to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." That is, the primary fault og the King was in ignoring the democratically expressed will of the colonies as expressed by the legislatures and in excluding the colonies from representation in the legislative and decision making process. Thr right of rebellion rested not with a person, but with the unrepresented people collectively. However, when individuals with democratically elected representation choose to rebel based on disagreements with the decisions made by their duly elected representatives, that wold fall under the Constitution's definition of treason. Jefferson, as evidenced in the earlier quotes would concur with the government putting down such an insurrection but also encourage "mild" treatment of the insurrectionists (or those practicing civil disobedience through things like, say anti war protests or gay liberation demonstrations) since such actions become a vehicle for minorities to express their dissatisfaction with the direction of the government.
Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have ... The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.[/quote
This is not an actual quote from Jefferson and appears to have first appeared in print in 1976.
The Jefferson Encyclopedia (http://wiki.monticello.org/) allows you to look up quotes attributed to Jefferson to find either their exact source or the fact that they do not actually appear in his writings. Many of the supposed Jefferson quotes, including many of the most cited ones on conservative logs, are relatively recent inventions.