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.
Sons of Liberty
Signer of the Declaration of Independence, diplomat, second President; 1735—1826.
Political philosopher, Boston revolutionary leader, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Massachusetts governor; 1722—1803.
Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Rhode Island; 1727 - 1820.
Boston merchant, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Massachusetts governor; 1737—93.
Lawyer, orator, Virginia governor; 1736—99.
Lawyer, politician, Boston revolutionary; 1725—83.
American painter, soldier; created first American museum; 1741—1827.
Militia general, effectively fought the British at Bunker Hill; 1718—90.
Artisan, Boston revolutionary, militia soldier, foundryman; 1735—1818.
Boston doctor, revolutionary, militia general; died at the Battle of Bunker Hill; 1741—75.
James Madison (2011)