- from Thomas Jefferson
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal....” These are some of the most famous words in U.S. history. Thomas Jefferson wrote them.
These words are part of the Declaration of Independence. In this document, Jefferson explained why the American colonists wanted independence from Great Britain. He also did something even more important: he shared his ideas about human rights and liberty. The Declaration was the first official document to say that all people had the right to the “pursuit of happiness.” It said that it was the government’s job to protect this right. It also said it was the government’s job to protect the rights to life and liberty.