Thomas Jefferson rightly receives the lionshare of credit for writing the Declaration of Independence, though he wasn’t the only founder who had a hand in its creation.

Following the introduction and debate of Richard Henry Lee’s resolution to dissolve ties with Great Britain, the Second Continental Congress appointed a Committee of Five — John Adams, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, Robert R. Livingston, and Thomas Jefferson — to write the Declaration during the Congressional recess.

Later, Jefferson wrote of the Committee:

“unanimously pressed on myself alone to undertake the draught [sic]. I consented; I drew it; but before I reported it to the committee I communicated it separately to Dr. Franklin and Mr. Adams requesting their corrections. . . I then wrote a fair copy, reported it to the committee, and from them, unaltered to the Congress.”

Staunchly in favor of independence, Adams gave an one of many impassioned speeches on July 1, when Congress reconvened. The following is the Adams’ speech as Daniel Webster imagined it:

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July 2, Lee’s Resolution was was adopted. Two days later, the Second Continental Congress approved the Declaration.

It wasn’t until October 31 that King George III acknowledged the Declaration.

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