|Thomas Jefferson's 'Notes'|
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The quest for independence was full speed ahead with Thomas Jefferson's prowess with the pen at the helm.
On June 11, 1776, the Continental Congress appointed two New England men, John Adams of Massachusetts and Roger Sherman of Connecticut; two men from the Middle Colonies, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Robert R. Livingston of New York; and one southerner Thomas Jefferson of Virginia to draft a declaration of independence. From the Committee of Five, Thomas Jefferson was delegated to undertake the task of drafting the document. The arduous nature of the preliminary version (draft) of the Declaration of Independence is evident upon viewing the original document riddled with corrections and changes.
The journey toward declaring freedom had begun...
When, in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the Causes which impel them to the Separation.
We hold these Truths to be self-evident that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness...
~Arthur L. Herman
Millions of Americans cannot tell you who lived at Mount Vernon or who wrote the Declaration of Independence - let alone the Emancipation Proclamation. But they know that to be 'a Benedict Arnold' is to be a traitor of the deepest dye - someone who coldly betrays not only a sacred cause but every moral scruple along the way.
Tens of thousands of brave Americans died to break the chains of British tyranny so that the principles of our Declaration of Independence could take fold and flourish in the birth of a new nation.