Portraits of Enslaved People

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Slaves of George Washington

Slaves of Thomas Jefferson

  • Christopher Sheels - Slave of Washington
  • Betty Hemings
  • Beverly Hemings
  • Harriet Hemings
  • Eston Hemings
  • Wormley Hughes - Jefferson’s gardener
  • Recollections of Madison Hemings
  • Recollections of Israel Jefferson
  • I set out on this ground, which I suppose to be self-evident, that the earth belongs in usufruct to the living; that the dead have neither powers nor rights over it. This, with its echo of the Declaration (self-evident) was Jefferson at his most terse. Except for the phrase in usufruct — a legalism meaning the right to use property for a certain time — Jefferson’s words could be chiseled in stone, or shouted on the hustings.

    Richard Brookhiser
    James Madison (2011)