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Final Week of Preparing Appendix for "Jefferson’s Masterpiece"

Last week I concluded the preparation of the appendix by compiling significance facts about the Declaration of Independence.

In an 1819 letter to Samuel Adams Wells, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The Declaration of Independence ... [is the] declaratory charter of our rights, and of the rights of man.”

Here is a sample of some significant facts about the Declaration that will be included in the appendix:

• The Declaration of Independence is the birth certificate of the United States of America.

• The Declaration of Independence announced to the world the unanimous decision of America’s thirteen colonies to absolve their allegiance to British rule and to be free and independent states. This was the first time a colony had ever declared independence from its mother country.

The Declaration of Independence presented a philosophy of government based on equal rights for everyone – the unalienable individual rights of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" that cannot be taken away or abridged; and a government that derives its powers from the consent of the governed – a government accountable to the people, not the people to the government.

• The Declaration of Independence has inspired as many as 115 declarations of independence around the world – granting liberty to millions of people who strived for freedom and the right
to govern themselves.

• The Declaration of Independence was the inspiration for granting civil rights to African-Americans and equal rights to women.

I also started the second phase of editing the manuscript by incorporating the corrections, and some of the additions and deletions that were suggested by my editors. In addition to the usual spelling and punctuation errors, they found words, phrases and sentences that needed more explanation; copy to be moved; and suggestions to be considered. Unlike Jefferson’s distress over the corrections made to the Declaration, I welcome the editors’ input.

While I work towards finishing the manuscript and appendix, my graphic designer wife has begun to select and prepare the images that will be used in the book. Our goal is for the images to help tell the story, not just be decoration.

I sincerely appreciate your continued interest in Jefferson’s Masterpiece,


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