On June 11, 1776, the second Continental Congress appointed a committee to write a declaration of independence. John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman were elected to the committee. One of these five was a renowned writer. For nearly thirty years, only the Bible outsold Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac, and his articles made the Pennsylvania Gazette the most successful newspaper in the colonies. But Franklin declined to draft the declaration, supposedly due to poor health, so the committee asked the thirty-three year Thomas Jefferson to draft the document.
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