The Declaration of Independence Unplugged Pt. I

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ncindc/After drafting his version of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson sought out feedback from, among others, Benjamin Franklin. Jefferson was a tactician, and probably realizing his original draft would not be universally accepted as is (as the Founding Fathers were not known to agree on a whole lot of topics), I think he conceded the fewest changes in order to get the heart of his document across.

One change made by Franklin was to the famous line “we hold these truths to be self-evident…”. Jefferson’s original read:

“We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable; that all men are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Franklin, perhaps felt that slightly watering down the “sacred and undeniable” to simply “self-evident” was a better fit for the consciousness of that time. Either way, the co-authored line is one of the most famous in our history.

Source: Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, The Library of Congress
Photo by NCinDC

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2 Responses to The Declaration of Independence Unplugged Pt. I

  1. […] all know who shouldered the bulk of writing the Declaration of Independence (click here for a hint), but can you name the other 4 who made up the original Party of […]

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