Allen, Ethan

NY — 10 May 1775.
Ticonderoga, NY — Built by the French 1755—59 as Fort Carillon, it was taken by the British in 1759 and renamed. During the war the fort went from British to American to British and to American again. Reconstruction began in 1908.
NY — 2—6 July 1777.

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)