- from 1776
Thomas Jefferson reluctantly agreed to write the Declaration of Independence.
Pictured below are the first and fourth (final) pages of his rough draft. It includes changes given to him verbally by Benjamin Franklin and John Adams. They made 48 changes. Then, the document was presented to the Congress. Jefferson sat in embarrassed silence as the delegates cut about one-fourth of his document, including a passage about slavery. Jefferson was a slaveholder from the South. But he disapproved of the slave trade, which he blamed on King George. However, other Southern delegates demanded the passage be taken out.