Rough draft

If you grew up in the United States, then you will have read the Declaration of Independence. Have you ever read Thomas Jefferson’s rough draft of the document, which was edited by Benjamin Franklin and John Adams prior to being presented to the Congress?

Here’s one of the best-known portions of the document, indicating deletions and additions:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, sacred & undeniable; that all Men are created equal & independent; that from that equal creation they derive in rights they are endowed by their creator with equal rights, some of which are inherent & inalienable rights; that among these which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness;

Congress later struck “inherent” from the description of rights. You can also find the revisions made by Congress, and images of the original document, at

One thought on “Rough draft”

  1. Now THAT is editing. Jeffersonian ramble creatively fashioned into ringing historic political prose by verbal artists.

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