The Declaration Of Independenc Essay, Research Paper
The Original Declaration of Independence
As a child, we are taught Jefferson s Declaration of Independence almost as if it were a poem, a piece of literature not to question, but to uphold in the highest regard. What we were not told was that a very important section of that document was completely deleted from the final draft; a section that addressed the slavery and the brutal slaying of Native Americans. It listed injuries and usurpations that Great Britain had inflicted upon America. At this point in our history, anything and everything that rooted from King George was utterly frowned upon by the United States. As we know, King George had little to do with the slaying of the Native Americans or the use of Africans as slaves. Thomas Jefferson felt that if he took these aspects of American life and gave the credit to King George, people would turn their backs on it because it was yet another way Great Britain had some sort of control over America.
In comparison to the final draft, the deleted passage contains parallels. In the final draft it states, He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. Obviously, Jefferson makes the point that King George has caused other nations and cultures to turn against their own and sell their people to the United States as slaves. In the deleted passage, Jefferson writes, He has waged cruel war against…a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This takes slavery and shows the cruel and unusual pain and suffering that was involved in the transport of these men and women to the United States. Both quotes bring the slavery issue to light and both , basically, root slavery to King George.
Jefferson s view clearly supports the freedom of slaves and the ending of the slaying of Native Americans. He understood that it was such a part of American life and tradition that it would almost be impossible to end it without manipulating the circumstances. Jefferson took the circumstances given, the constant killing and the slavery, put a British influence on it, King George, and thought people would frown upon them.
Its deletion occurred through a series of revisions by the members of the Continental Congress. Many issues mentioned in the deleted passage are vaguely mentioned in the final draft. Of course, not as much detail was used to describe those issues. This shows that the killing of Native Americans and the enslavement of Africans are not important issues for the members of the Continental Congress. Even though Thomas Jefferson was the author of this document, the Continental Congress must have been in total agreement with it, which means editing some parts, even as important as slavery and murder.