The Right Man for the Job

His writing talents were never in doubt. Certainly not after he authored a well-written pamphlet called A Summary View of the Rights of British America. However, the tall red-headed, Virginian was so quiet during debates that some questioned his strength. The real power of that critically important Congress of 1776 was John Adams of Massachusetts. His bull-necked honesty and enthusiastic zeal made him a power center in that legislative body. It was natural that Adams be a principal choice to prepare the key policy paper on the future of the 13 colonies. Three others joined him to form a committee: Ben Franklin, a Connecticut merchant and a New York lawyer. Another man was added to give place to the importance of Virginia. When the committee met to do its work, it was naturally expected that John Adams would be the primary architect of the writing. But Adam suggested instead that the quiet Virginian draw up the first draft for the committee’s consideration. “I’m too obnoxious,” he said. So, almost by accident, the new man had the job. “I turned to neither book nor pamphlet while writing,” he said. He first draft was received without change by the committee and approve later by the entire Congress. Written almost by chance but just the right man, Thomas Jefferson. The document - the Declaration of Independence.