Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jefferson May Have Drafted the Declaration of Independence But He Wasn't Happy Being Edited

by Lewis Lehrman

July 2, 2010

Thomas Jefferson was a writer, not a speechmaker. Even his most memorable public address – his first presidential inaugural in 1801 – was delivered in barely audible tones. In June 1776, the Second Continental Congress assigned a five-member committee to prepare the Declaration of Independence. John Adams of Massachusetts decided that Jefferson of Virginia should compose the draft document.

Jefferson’s heart was elsewhere. He yearned to be in Richmond working on a new constitution for Virginia. Still, he secluded himself in his two-room apartment in Philadelphia to write the first draft of the Declaration.