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Jersey shore. The famous major Rogers is in custody on violent suspicion of being concerned in the conspiracy

I am glad to hear of the Highlanders carried into Virginia. It does not appear certainly how many of these people we have but I imagine at least six or eight hundred. Each effort should be made to keep up the spirits of the people the succeeding three months; which in the Universal opinion will be the only ones in which our trial can be severe.

I wish you had depended on yourself rather than others for giving me an account of the late noinination of delegates. I have no other state of it but the number of votes for each person. The omission of Harrison and Braxton and my being next to the lag give me some alarm. It is a painful situation to be 300 miles from one's country, and thereby opened to secret assassination without a possibility of selfdefence. I am willing to hope nothing of this kind has been done in my case, but yet I cannot

If any doubts has arisen as to me, my country will have my political creed in the form of a “Declaration ” &c. which I was lately directed to draw. This will give decisive proof that my own sentiment concurred with the vote they instructed me to give. Had the post been to go a day later we might have been at liberty to communicate this whole matter.

July 2. I have kept open my letter till this morning but nothing more new. Adieu.

be easy.





July 4, 1776.

In Congress, July
4, 1776. The Unani-

of the thirteen
United States of

FIRST DRAFT. REPORTED DRAFT. A Declaration by A Declaration by the Representatives the Representatives of the United States of the UNITED of America in gen

STATES OF eral Congress as- AMERICA in Gensembled.

eral Congress as

sembled. When in the When in the Course of human

course of human Events it becomes events it becomes necessary for a Peo

necessary for one ple to advance from people to dissolve that Subordination, the political bands in which they have which have

their future secunty such has


When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have




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The text in the first column is from a copy in the handwriting of John Adams, now in the Adams papers at Quincy, for which I am indebted to the courtesy of Mr. Charles Francis Adams and Mr. Theodore F. Dwight. From a comparison of it with the fac-simile of Jefferson's rough draft, it is evident that it represents the first phrasing of the paper. The text in the second column is approximately that reported by the committee to Congress, and is taken from Jefferson's rough draft reproduced herein in fac-simile from the original in the Department of State. The text in the third column is from the engrossed copy of the Declaration of Independence, also in the Department of State. Another MSS. copy in Jefferson's writing, slightly altered in wording, was inserted by him in his Autobiography, and is printed, ante, I, 30. This is in the Department of State, as is likewise a copy in his handwriting made for Madison in 1783, which is reproduced in facsimile in the Madison Papers, vol. III. Between July 4th-ioth, Jefferson made copies of the Declaration, indicating his phrasing and that adopted by the Congress, and sent them to R. H. Lee, Wythe, Page, Pendleton, and Mazzei, and probably others. Lee gave his copy to the American Philosophical Society, where it now is. Those of Wythe, Page, and Pendleton have never been heard of. Mazzei gave his to the Countess de Tessie of France, and it has not been traced. A copy in Jefferson's writing is now owned by Dr. Thomas Addis Emmett, and a fragment of another is in the possession of Mrs. Washburn of Boston. Thus at least five copies and a fragment of a sixth are still extant. Cf. ante, 1, 30.

Adams, hani inting


egy is a which appears no solitan

government & to provide new guards for their future recunty such has been the patient refferance of these colonies, &such is now the necessity which constrains them to [esprunge] their former systems of government thing of Great Britain

repeated . the history of the present way is a history of unremitting injunies and

solitary fact usurpationo, [among


Alking to contra.
-dict the uniform tenor of the rest, att of which havejin direct object the
establishment of an absolute tyranny

These viated to move this let facto be
submitted to a candid world. Ifor the truth of which we pledge a faith
yit unsullied by falsehood]



hitherto remained nected them with nected them with and to assume another and to as- another, and to asamong the Powers sume a mong the


the of the Earth, the powers of the earth powers of the earth, equal and indepen- the separate and the separate and dent Station to equal station to equal station to which the Laws of which the laws of which the Laws of Nature and of Na- nature and of na- Nature and of Nature's God entitle ture's God entitle ture's God entitle them, a decent Re- them, a decent re- them, a decent respect to the opin- spect to the opinions spect to the opinions ions of Mankind of mankind requires of mankind requires requires that they that they should de- that they should should declare the clare the causes declare the causes Causes, which im- which impel them to which impel them pell them to the

the separation. to the separation. Change.

We hold these We hold these We hold these Truths to be self truths to be self- truths to be self-evievident; that all

all evident that all men dent, that all men Men are created are created equal ; are created equal, equal and indepen- that they are en- that they are dent; that from dowed their dowed by their Crethat equal Creation creator with inher- ator with certain inthey derive Rights ent & inalienable

& inalienable alienable rights, that inherent and una- rights, that among

among these are lienable ; among these are life, liber- Life, Liberty, and which are the Pres- ty, and the pursuit the pursuit of Hapervation of Life, and of happiness; that piness.—That to Liberty, and the to secure these secure these rights, Pursuit of Happi- rights governments

Governments are inness ; that to secure are instituted among stituted among Men, these Ends, Govern- men deriving their deriving their just ments are instituted just powers from the

powers from the among Men, deriv- consent of the gov- consent of the goving their just Powers erned ; that when- erned. That whenfrom the Consent of ever any form of ever any Form of the governed ; that

government be. Guvernment be.



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