Fragment of the First Draft of the Declaration of Independence Digital History ID 3885

Fragment of the First Draft of the Declaration of Independence

Credit: Library of Congress
Media type: illustration
Museum Number:
Annotation: This is the only surviving fragment of the earliest draft of the Declaration of Independence. This fragment demonstrates that Jefferson heavily edited his first draft of the Declaration of Independence before he prepared a fair copy that became the basis of "the original Rough draught." None of the deleted words and passages in this fragment appears in the "Rough draught," but all of the undeleted 148 words, including those careted and interlined, were copied into the "Rough draught" in a clear form. The writing on the bottom half of the sheet is Jefferson's draft of a resolution on the resignation of General John Sullivan, July 26, 1776.
Year: 1776

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