Happy almost July 4th everyone! In honor of Independence Day, I thought I’d share some facts that I find interesting about the writing of The Declaration of Independence. Here’s hoping that they might interest all of you writers and readers, too.
Did you know that Thomas Jefferson was one of five men appointed to write The Declaration of Independence? John Adams of Massachusetts and Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, and Robert R. Livingston of New York joined Mr. Jefferson. Doesn’t that sound like a powerful writer’s group?
Thomas Jefferson, however, was asked to write the first draft. I’m guessing he was more of an outliner than a pantser.
This writing project took him less than three weeks. This bit of information, frankly, makes me a little sheepish about my slow writing pace. Upon completing the final draft (after many), Mr. Jefferson showed it to Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, who input their own revisions. The Congress, of course, made more alterations and deletions. The process of revision continued through all of July 3 and into the late morning of July 4. And I’ve read that Mr. Jefferson was not thrilled with the final product. Still, when the Declaration of Independence was finished, church bells rang out in Philadelphia. Don’t we all celebrate once those final revisions are made, for better or for worse?
Fifty years later, Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, as did John Adams. It’s true: Two of the men who crafted The Declaration of Independence died on the same day, and on the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the document. Kind of wild, don’t you think?
And now I leave you to your fireworks (for those of you celebrating the birth of the USA) with a few quotes on the value of reading and writing:
“I cannot live without books.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." ~ Benjamin Franklin
“Let us dare to read, think, speak and write.” ~ John Adams
“I read my eyes out and can't read half enough...the more one reads the more one sees we have to read.” ~ John Adams
Can you add any fun, Independence Day writer facts?
Happy fourth of July whether you celebrate Independence Day or not!