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Jefferson, Franklin and Adams - Drafting the Declaration

Jefferson, Franklin and Adams - Drafting the Declaration American Revolution American History Famous Historical Events Law and Politics Visual Arts

As he wrote the Declaration of Independence—while working alone—Thomas Jefferson considered the words and ideas of others who had gone before him.  To these he added his own ideas.

When he finished his draft, he discussed it with Benjamin Franklin and John Adams.  The original document reflects handwritten changes made by those two members of the drafting committee.

This image—from a postcard based on the oil-on-canvas painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863-1930)—depicts what it may have been like to watch the three men assessing, and editing, Jefferson's draft.  The original painting is currently maintained by the Virginia Historical Society. 

The Library of Congress—where the postcard is maintained—provides this description:

Thomas Jefferson (right), Benjamin Franklin (left), and John Adams (center) meet at Jefferson's lodgings, on the corner of Seventh and High (Market) streets in Philadelphia, to review a draft of the Declaration of Independence.


Media Credits

Image online, courtesy Library of Congress.  Further details of the postcard:

 

1 photomechanical print:  halftone, color (postcard made from painting).  Postcard published by The Foundation Press, Inc., 1932.  Reproduction of oil painting from series:  The Pageant of a Nation.  Reproduction Number: LC-USZC4-9904 (color film copy transparency).

 

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