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By Betty Vanderwielen
Pathfinder 

From draft to final declaration

 

Public domain

Currier & Ives 1876 print depicting members of the Declaration of Independence Committee at work. Pictured (L-R): Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, Robert R. Livingston and John Adams.

We often wonder how our founding fathers could have written the phrase "all men are created equal" while simultaneously sanctioning and supporting slavery. A close look at the changes made in the various drafts of the Declaration of Independence reveals a struggle to try to accommodate those two ways of thinking.

The Declaration of Independence started with a rough draft created by Thomas Jefferson. It took him almost three weeks to craft it. He then submitted his work to the other members of the five-man committee assigned to the task by the First Continental Congress -- Benjamin Frankli...



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