Drafts of the Declaration of Independence

By Callie Oettinger

From the Library of Congress:

This is the only surviving fragment of the earliest composition draft of the Declaration of Independence, written by Jefferson in mid-June 1776. This version was heavily edited before he prepared the “fair copy,” which we know now as “the original Rough draught.” None of the words deleted from this fragment appear in the Rough Draft, but each of the 148 words that were not edited are there. The writing below is Jefferson’s draft of a resolution on the resignation of General John Sullivan, July 26, 1776.

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Fragment of the earliest composition draft of the Declaration of Independence, written by Jefferson in mid-June 1776. Credit: Library of Congress.

From the Library of Congress:

The “original Rough draught” of the Declaration of Independence, one of the great milestones in American history, shows the evolution of the text from the initial “fair copy” draft by Thomas Jefferson to the final text adopted by Congress on the morning of July 4, 1776.  Holograph with minor emendations by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, June 1776.

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The original Rough draught

 

 


CALLIE OETTINGER was Command Posts’ first managing editor. Her interest in military history, policy and fiction took root when she was a kid, traveling and living the life of an Army Brat, and continues today.

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