Amendment I (Speech and Press)
Albemarle County Instructions concerning the Virginia ConstitutionFall 1776Jefferson Papers 6:288
In regard to the freedom of the press, which certainly is, as mentioned in the Bill of Rights, one of the great bulwarks of Liberty, we think that the Printers should never be liable for any thing they print, provided they may give up authors, who are responsible, but on the contrary that they should print nothing without. Many good people have been lately mislead by the artifices of ingenious, but malicious, interested and corrupt writers. Had their names been published, their Characters would have been the antidote to their own poison. We are convinced, that by such a regulation many inconveniencies may be avoided, and whether the objections to it are of greater weight we submit to the consideration of our Representatives.
The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. Edited by Julian P. Boyd et al. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950--.
© 1987 by The University of Chicago