Richard Henry Lee Us History 1 Essay

Richard Henry Lee Us History 1 Essay-67
That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.After considering this resolution twice (June 8 and 10), Congress postponed further consideration until July 1.Born at Stratford, Westmoreland County, Virginia, Lee was educated privately and at Wakefield Academy in England.

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(Contrary to the later recollections of Jefferson and Adams, no signing occurred on July 4).

Carl Becker suggested that John Adams may have been responsible for the change: “Adams was one of the committee which supervised the printing of the text adopted by Congress, and it may have been at his suggestion that the change was made in printing.” Julian P.

This prompted an excited John Adams to write to his wife, Abigail: The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.

I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival.

A man can no more transfer his inalienable rights than he can transfer his moral agency, his ability to reason, and so forth.

This means that inalienable rights could never have been transferred to government in a social contract, so no government can properly claim jurisdiction over them.But before I delve into this philosophy I want to comment on a point of historical trivia. “Unalienable” first appears in John Dunlap’s initial printing of the Declaration (July 5), which was inserted in the rough Journal of Congress.The Declaration we know today refers to “unalienable” rights, but Jefferson used the word “inalienable.” Jefferson did not make this change, nor does the change appear to have been made by Congress while it was considering the draft submitted by the Committee of Five. It also appears in the corrected Journal and in the engrossed parchment version, which was signed by delegates on August 2.Jefferson gave no indication of such an outline, suggesting instead that he had written the Declaration from scratch.It was only after he had completed the “original Rough draught” that Jefferson submitted the document to Adams and Franklin separately, soliciting changes that he later described as “two or three short and verbal alterations.” But, Jefferson continued, “even this is laying more stress on mere composition than it merits, for that alone was mine.”The Rough Draft to which Jefferson refers is one of the most fascinating documents in American history. Boyd (There can scarcely be any question but that the Rough Draft is the most extraordinarily interesting document in American history….An eighty-year-old Jefferson disputed this account. He denied that a subcommittee had ever been formed, claiming instead that the entire committee “unanimously pressed on myself alone to undertake the draught.”A more serious discrepancy between the accounts of Adams and Jefferson pertains to how the Declaration was actually drafted.In his Adams recalled that the Committee of Five held several meetings, during which an outline of the Declaration was drawn up to serve as a guide for the draftsman.For it embodies in its text and in its multiplicity of corrections, additions, and deletions all, or almost all, of the Declaration as it was at every stage of its journey from its origin in the parlor of Graff’s home to its emergence in full glory as the official charter as the authenticated charter of liberty of the American people.For those who wish to understand the political philosophy of the Declaration, the significant part is the famous second paragraph.Boyd (editor of the massive Princeton edition of ) proposed a different theory: “This alteration may possibly have been made by the printer [John Dunlap] rather than at the suggestion of Congress.”Fortunately for my purpose here, this minor mystery is of no consequence.Both “inalienable” and “unalienable” were used throughout the eighteenth century; they were merely variant spellings of the same word.


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