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Declaration of Independence, 3rd Page of Manuscript

Declaration of Independence, 3rd Page of Manuscript

This is the third page of the Declaration’s manuscript, which Thomas Jefferson later called “the original Rough draught.”  It is the page which caused scholars to speculate, for hundreds of years, what Jefferson was up to in the 14th line of the original text (not counting edit lines).  The word "citizens" replaced another word - but what was it?

Preservation scientists at the Library of Congress - such as Fenella France (scroll down 60% to learn more about her) - finally answered that question on July 2, 2010 - the 234th anniversary of the first Congressional vote on the Declaration.  Jefferson had originally called himself, and other Americans, "subjects" of King George III.  He then wrote over that word - obliterating it entirely - and replaced it with "citizens."

That pivotal change exemplified how Jefferson, and the other "Founding Fathers," viewed Americans during the early summer of 1776.  They were no longer subjects of a king who lived in a distant land.  They had transformed themselves into citizens of their own independent country.

Click on the image to greatly increase its size.

See, also:

Declaration of Independence, Original Draft - Page 1

Declaration of Independence, Original Draft - Page 2

 

Declaration of Independence, Original Draft - Page 4

Vote of the Colonies to Declare Independence


Media Credits

Library of Congress, Treasures, Original Rough Draft, image decp3.

 

 

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