Thomas Jefferson's First Draft of the Declaration of the Declaration of Independence
Drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776 became the defining event in Thomas Jefferson's life. Despite Jefferson's desire to return to Virginia to help write that state's constitution, the Continental Congress appointed him to the five-person committee for drafting a declaration of independence. That committee subsequently assigned him the task of producing a draft document for its consideration. Drawing on documents, such as the Virginia Declaration of Rights, state and local calls for independence, and his own draft of a Virginia constitution, Jefferson wrote a stunning statement of the colonists' right to rebel against the British government and establish their own based on the premise that all men are created equal and have the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Through the many revisions made by Jefferson, the committee, and then by Congress, Jefferson retained his prominent role in writing the defining document of the American Revolution and, indeed, of the United States. Jefferson was critical of changes to the document, particularly the removal of a long paragraph that attributed responsibility of the slave trade to British King George III. Jefferson was justly proud of his role in writing the Declaration of Independence and skillfully defended his authorship of this hallowed document.
1776 Delcaration of Independence is adopted by the Continental Congress. The colonies declare independence from British
Battle of Bunker Hill
The Spirit of 76
Cornwallis Surrenders on October 19 this day in 1781, British General Charles Cornwallis formally surrenders 8,000 British soldiers and seamen to a French and American force at Yorktown, Virginia, bringing the American Revolution to a close. "The British Band Played the World Turned Upside Down"