James Madison

by Charles Willson Peale (1741—1827)

Watercolor on ivory. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

Madison at age 32.

by Charles Willson Peale (1741—1827)

Oil on canvas; framed: 36 1/8 × 31 3/4 × 3 5/8 in. (91.8 × 80.6 × 9.2 cm). Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, OK.

by James Sharples (c. 1751—1811)

Pastel on paper. Independence National Historical Park, Portrait Collection (Second Bank of the United States), Philadelphia, PA.

by Gilbert Stuart (1755—1828)

Oil on canvas; 29.5 in. x 24.63 in. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Colonial Williamsburg, VA.

by Gilbert Stuart (1755—1828)

Oil on canvas; height: height: 123.19 cm (48.5 in), width: 100.97 cm (39.75 in). Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME.

by Gilbert Stuart (1755—1828)

Oil on wood; 65.3 x 54.3 cm (25 11/16 x 21 3/8 in.) National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

by John Vanderlyn (1775—1852)

Oil on canvas. The White House Collection, Washington, DC.

by Chester Harding (1792—1866)

Oil on canvas. On display at Montpelier, Orange, VA; courtesy of Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA.

by Asher Brown Durand (1796—1886)

Oil on canvas; 24 1/4 x 20 1/4 in. ( 61.6 x 51.4 cm). New-York Historical Society, New York, NY.

by Anna Maria Brodeau Thornton (c. 1775—1865)

Watercolor on wove paper. The Montpelier Foundation, Orange, VA.

Monticello was a working plantation, and Jefferson was eager to make it pay. His slaves may have been members of his family, but they were units of production as well. Everywhere on his plantation he sought to eliminate pockets of idleness. If a slave was too old or too sick to work in the fields, he or she was put to tending the vegetable gardens or to cooking in the quarters. When one of his former head men named Nace became ill, Jefferson ordered that he be entirely kept from labour until he recovers; nevertheless, Nace was to spend his days indoors shelling corn or making shoes or baskets. Jefferson was willing to prescribe lighter work for women who were pregnant or raising infant children because they were actually breeding more property; thus, said Jefferson, a child raised every 2 years is of more profit than the crop of the best laboring man. This is one of the times, he said, when providence has made our interest and our duties coincide perfectly.

Gordon S. Wood
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)