Declaration of Independence


About the Author

Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, is considered by many to be the greatest person the United States has ever produced. A true Renaissance man, Jefferson was a statesman, author, politician, philosopher, diplomat, inventor, scientist, and much more.

Tall for his time, at six feet, two inches, with sandy red hair, hazel eyes, and a weak speaking voice, Jefferson was both loathed and loved by his contemporaries. The Connecticut Courant, a Federalist newspaper, warned voters prior to the election of 1800 that if Jefferson were to be named president, “Murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest will all be openly taught and practiced, the air will be rent with the cries of the distressed, the soil will be soaked with blood, and the nation black with crimes” (qtd. in Kamber, p. 15). When Jefferson indeed gained the nation's highest office, he demonstrated a desire to democratize and remove the pomp from the presidency, to...

Image for: Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence (National Archives and Records Administration)

View Full Size