During the late spring of 1776, Tom Jefferson traveled to Philadelphia as a Virginia delegate to the Second Continental Congress. His mission was to vote on a resolution which would "declare the United Colonies" - including Virginia - "free and independent states." Image online, courtesy Library of Congress.
That this [the Virginia law which allowed slavery] did not, under the law of nature, affect the liberty of the children, Because, under that law we are all born free.
...under that law [the law of nature] we are all born free.
Six years after he told the court "we are all born free," Jefferson was convinced the colonies should sever their ties to Great Britain. Already at war - since the first battles at Lexington and Concord in April of 1775 - colonial separation seemed logical.
Propose to that respectable body to declare the United Colonies free and independent states.
Thomas Jefferson, a member of Virginia's delegation to Congress, made the week-long trip to Philadelphia. He left behind his ill and suffering wife. The couple had lost their baby daughter Jane, in 1775, and Patty had recently miscarried - again.