History of the documents Main article: The official copy of the Declaration of Independence was the one printed on July 4, 1776, under Jefferson's supervision The text of the May 15 Virginia resolution is June 20, 2008, at the at Yale Law School's Avalon Project
Northern states began abolishing slavery shortly after the war for Independence began, and all had abolished slavery by 1804 The French government responded on 15 December with a flat refusal

The Declaration of Independence

Douglas argued that the phrase "all men are created equal" in the Declaration referred to white men only.

John Adams wrote the preamble, which stated that because King George had rejected reconciliation and was hiring foreign mercenaries to use against the colonies, "it is necessary that the exercise of every kind of authority under the said crown should be totally suppressed"
January 17, 2010, at , The U
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The most famous signature on the copy is that of , who presumably signed first as
The Declaration of Independence inspired many similar documents in other countries, the first being the 1789 Declaration of issued during the in the
Since then, it has become a well-known statement on , particularly its second sentence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that , that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are According to Pauline Maier, Douglas's interpretation was more historically accurate, but Lincoln's view ultimately prevailed

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But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute , it is their right, it is their duty, to , and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Tunisian independence
Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 100, number 4 October 1976 , 438—67
1996—99• In the 19th century, the Declaration took on a special significance for the abolitionist movement
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One signer must be at least 60 years of age to qualify for this account