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.
Charles Willson Peale (1741—1827)
Oil on canvas; 91.4 x 71.1 x 2.5cm (36 x 28 x 1 in). National Portrait Gallery (Smithsonian), Washington, DC.
Oil on canvas; 49 7/8 x 39 3/4 in. (126.4 x 101 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY.
Oil on canvas. Historical Society of Pennsylvania Collection, Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent, Philadelphia, PA.
Oil on canvas. Independence National Historical Park, Portrait Collection (Second Bank of the United States), Philadelphia, PA.
Oil on canvas; height: 124.46 cm (49 in), width: 99.06 cm (39 in). Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
Oil on canvas. The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD.
Oil on canvas; 50 x 40-1/2 in. Private collection.
Oil on canvas; 36 13/16 x 32 1/16 inches (93.5 x 81.4 cm). Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA.
Oil on canvas; 86 1/2" x 56 3/4". Maryland State Art Collection, Annapolis, MD.
Oil on canvas. Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA.