Liberty vs. Security

Ben Franklin on trading liberty for security


This “quote” is actually a paraphrase from one of his speeches given on November 11, 1755.

From WikiQuotes about Benjamin Franklin:

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

  • This was first written by Franklin for the Pennsylvania Assembly in its Reply to the Governor(11 Nov. 1755)
  • This quote was used as a motto on the title page of An Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania(1759); the book was published by Franklin; its author was Richard Jackson, but Franklin did claim responsibility for some small excerpts that were used in it.
  • An earlier variant by Franklin in Poor Richard’s Almanack(1738): “Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.

Even more interestingly, you may like to review the Reply to the Govenor, in its entirety, from the official Franklin Papers website.

As we approach the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, please consider which you would choose for you, your family…and your country.


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