But many do not know the history behind the man or the Declaration.Let’s look at some important events leading up to the signing and writing of the Declaration. During the 1700s, the British Parliament passed several laws that limited the freedoms of many English colonists in America.
Jefferson was a member of a five-person committee appointed by the Continental Congress to write the Declaration.
The committee included Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman.
When writing the first draft of the Declaration, Jefferson primarily drew upon two sources: his own draft of a preamble to the Virginia Constitution and George Mason’s draft of Virginia’s Declaration of Rights.
Jefferson was quite unhappy about some of the edits made to his original draft of the Declaration of Independence.
In 1989, someone discovered a previously unknown Dunlap Broadside. There are only 26 known surviving Dunlap Broadsides today.
Although Thomas Jefferson is often called the “author” of the Declaration of Independence, he wasn’t the only person who contributed important ideas.
He had originally included language condemning the British promotion of the slave trade (even though Jefferson himself was a slave owner).
This criticism of the slave trade was removed in spite of Jefferson’s objections.
Rebellion was the only choice the colonists felt they had left due to the King ignoring their letters. Although we know Thomas Jefferson as the true author, the Second Continental Congress initially appointed five people to draw up a declaration.
The committee included Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston and Thomas Jefferson.