Declaration Of Independence Thomas Jefferson Essay Thesis

The 33-year-old Jefferson may have been a shy, awkward public speaker in Congressional debates, but he used his skills as a writer and correspondent to support the patriotic cause. By the late spring of 1776, more and more colonists favored an official and permanent break from Great Britain; in mid-May, eight of the 13 colonies said they would support independence. On June 7, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia formally presented a resolution before the Congress, stating that “[T]hese United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”

On June 11, Jefferson was appointed to a five-man committee–alongside John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Robert R. Livingston of New York–that was charged with drafting a formal statement justifying the break with Great Britain. Jefferson was the only southerner on the committee, and had arrived in Philadelphia accompanied by three of his many slaves. Still, it was he who was given the task of drafting the Declaration of Independence, which would become the foremost statement of human liberty and equality ever written. According to an account Jefferson wrote in 1823, the other members of the committee “unanimously pressed on myself alone to undertake the draught [sic]. I consented; I drew it; but before I reported it to the committee I communicated it separately to Dr. Franklin and Mr. Adams requesting their corrections…I then wrote a fair copy, reported it to the committee, and from them, unaltered to the Congress.”

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