Handout F: Declaration of Independence — Draft and Final Versions
The Declaration of Independence, 1776
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…
- According to this document, what is the purpose of government?
Draft Declaration of Independence, 1776
Note: This section of Thomas Jefferson’s original draft Declaration of Independence was deleted by the Continental Congress.
He [the British King] has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither…Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.
- With what does Jefferson charge the English King?
- How does this deleted paragraph inform the meaning of “all men” in the final Declaration of Independence?