Personal Seal

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Pictured to the right is "one of [[Thomas Jefferson|Jefferson's]] seals,"[[Short Title List|Randall, Life,]] III:585-6. according to his grandson-in-law [[Nicholas Philip Trist]], bearing the motto, "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God." Jefferson's Memorandum Books contain the notation, "Pd. Thomson for a seal £3-7" on 26 March 1786; this may refer to the purchase of this seal.[[Short Title List|MB]] 615. The first known intact copy of the seal is on a letter to Richard Gem of 4 April 1790;[[Short Title List|PTJ]] 16:297-298. the seal appears on the frontispiece of Henry Randall's [[Short Title List|Life of Thomas Jefferson]], and can also be seen on one of the gates to the [[Monticello Graveyard]].

"Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God" was a motto suggested for the [[Seal of the United States|Great Seal of the United States]], but never used. Jefferson eventually appropriated it for this seal. The ultimate source of the motto is murky, but the best guess of scholars at this point is that [[Benjamin Franklin]] probably made it up.

Footnotes

See Also

  • [[Coat of Arms]]

Further Sources

  • [[Short Title List|PTJ]] 1:677-679, Appendix II: "Bradshaw's Epitaph": The Source of "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God."

[[Category:Famous Quotations]]
[[Category:Personal Life]]

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