I was recently reading through a rather popular elementary/junior high school textbook A History of Us: The New Nation. On page 167, the author, Joy Hakim, says of James Buchanan (the 15th president of the United States):
... In fact, he didn't do much of anything as president. When Congress passed a bill that would have created some colleges, Buchanan vetoed the bill. He said the country didn't need more education. There were already too many educated people, said Buchanan.
This piqued my interest, so I went and read Buchanan's veto bill on the subject, but I didn't find anything like the supposed quote.
The Wikipedia article on Buchanan states the exact opposite:
Buchanan greatly valued education but believed that colleges were the duty of state governments rather than the central government, as expressed in his veto of a bill to grant land for colleges.
"It is extremely doubtful, to say the least, whether this bill would contribute to the advancement of agriculture and the mechanic arts--objects the dignity and value of which can not be too highly appreciated."
Did Buchanan really say "there were too many educated people"?
Buchanan "too many educated"are either unsourced or reference Hakim. It's hard to prove a negative, but I'd be inclined to say this puts the burden of proof back on Hakim to provide evidence for her claim that he said this. (We should note, though, that she doesn't use quotation marks, so arguably she is not claiming that these were his exact words, but rather this is her interpretation or paraphrase of something he said. In that sense it may be a matter of opinion.)