- 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, with changes given him verbally by Benjamin Franklin and John Adams. Forty-eight changes were made. 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, yet he condemned the slave trade, blaming it on King George. However, other Southern delegates demanded the passage be deleted.