Rodda Catches Barton in Yet Another Lie

Rodda Catches Barton in Yet Another Lie April 11, 2017

My old friend Chris Rodda has caught professional liar David Barton once again completely distorting a quote from Thomas Jefferson to make it say the precise opposite of what he claims it said. This time it’s about immigration. Here’s what Barton said:


This is how Barton introduced and presented his so-called Jefferson quote on his radio show:

“Actually, I pulled up a couple of quotes that I think fairly interesting. First off, with immigration and with healthcare both, it’s kind of interesting to see what the federal role in this — let me read a Thomas Jefferson quote on what the federal government’s to do with this combination of immigration and health care. He says, quote:
“‘The federal government is to certify with the exact truth for every vessel sailing in from a foreign port the state of health on that vessel, which prevails from which country she sails, but the state authorities are charged with the care of the public health.’”

Barton then continued with his explanation of his so-called Jefferson quote:

“So we are the feds — we get to do healthcare only for ships carrying immigrants coming to the United States and we see what the health conditions were when they left, what they are when they get here, everything else belongs to the states on healthcare. And immigration was very much the same.”

But these quotes, which came from Jefferson’s 1805 State of the Union speech, are about Americans sailing to other countries, not to immigrants coming here. Due to the fear of yellow fever, which had recently been raging through the United States, European countries were worried about Americans coming there and spreading the disease. So Jefferson instituted a program to certify that those sailing for Europe did not have the disease:

“In taking a view of the state of our country we in the first place notice the late affliction of two of our cities under the fatal fever which in latter times has occasionally visited our shores. Providence in His goodness gave it an early termination on this occasion and lessened the number of victims which have usually fallen before it. In the course of the several visitations by this disease it has appeared that it is strictly local, incident to cities and on the tide waters only, incommunicable in the country either by persons under the disease or by goods carried from diseased places; that its access is with the autumn and it disappears with the early frosts. These restrictions within narrow limits of time and space give security even to our maritime cities three fourths of the year, and to the country always. Although from these facts it appears unnecessary, yet to satisfy the fears of foreign nations and cautions on their part not to be complained of in a danger whose limits are yet unknown to them I have strictly enjoined on the officers at the head of customs to certify with exact truth, for every vessel sailing for a foreign port the state of health respecting this fever which prevails at the place from which she sails.”

Barton lying? Must be a day that ends in Y.

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