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Reflections on the

Jefferson's Rough Draft of the Declaration of Independence
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
to Roger C. Weightman (1786-1876)
Page 2
Holograph letter, June 24, 1826
Manuscript Division

The Declaration of Independence was the defining moment of Jefferson's life. He envisioned a utopian political arena of continuous revolution, where each generation remade its laws and constitutions. In his letter to Roger Weightman, the mayor of Washington, Jefferson continued to espouse his vision of the Declaration and the nation as signals to the world of the blessings of self-government in an ever-evolving society. This was the last letter written by Jefferson, who died ten days later, on July 4, 1826. Coincidentally, John Adams, another great defender of liberty, died on the same day.

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