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Continental Congress - Considers Declaration

Continental Congress-Considers Declaration

On the 28th of June, 1776, the drafting committee, headed by Thomas Jefferson, submitted their draft of an independence declaration to the Continental Congress.  According to the Library of Congress: 

This image is considered one of the most realistic renditions of this historical event.

Jefferson is the tall person depositing the Declaration of Independence on the table.

Benjamin Franklin sits to his right.

John Hancock (1737-1793) sits behind the table.

Fellow committee members, John Adams, Roger Sherman (1721-1793), and Robert R. Livingston (1746-1813) stand (left to right) behind Jefferson.

After the Declaration of Independence was approved on July 4, 1776, Britain's colonies in America were now "free" of British rule. When did the Second Continental Congress decide to call these united colonies the "United States?" On September 9 of that same year.

Do we know who first suggested that the United Colonies should be called the United States? It may have been Thomas Jefferson who began his Declaration draft with these words:  "A Declaration of the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in General Congress assembled." 


Media Credits

Congress Voting the Declaration of Independence, c. 1776, by Edward Savage and/or Robert Edge Pine. 

Copyprint of oil on canvas, Courtesy of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 

Image, Library of Congress web site, Thomas Jefferson Exhibition.

 

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