"In the Beginning, all America was Virginia."
William Byrd II
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The Story of Virginia
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Writing the Declaration of Independence, 1776

The Writing of the Declaration of IndependenceWriting the Declaration of Independence, 1776, by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin were named to a committee to prepare a declaration of independence. Jefferson (standing) did the actual writing because he was known as a good writer. Congress deleted Jefferson's most extravagant rhetoric and accusations.

You may view the original document online at the National Archives.

(VHS accession number: 1996.49.15)

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