This illustrious statesman and patriot immortalized his name early in life by writing the "Declaration of American Independence." Had he never done anything more as a statesman in after-life, his name would have descended to the latest posterity as immortal. It was a much greater, bolder, and more patriotic act than that of Magna Charta, obtained by the proud barons of England at Runnymede from their pusillanimous King John. This only secured the liberty of a kingdom, whilst the other gave birth to a great republic, destined to be in the future, in territory, wealth, population, and intelligence, as well as in liberty, virtue, and religion, the most magnificent empire that the sun ever shone upon. No act of any people in ancient or modern history is comparable to it in its consequences and example to mankind. Well, then, may the name of its author be immortal and remembered in all time to come. It will ever be dear to all Americans and to every lover of liberty and free institutions throughout the world.
In the old Continental Congress, after they had solemnly resolved to declare the independence of the Colonies, and their final and everlasting separation from the mother country, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, and others were appointed a committee to draw up their Declaration of Independence. Jefferson submitted his draft to the committee, and, after slight alterations were agreed on and reported to Congress, it was adopted by Congress, signed by all the members, and published to the world on the 4th day of July, 1776.
This bold and defiant Declaration of Independence was received throughout the Colonies with patriotic rapture