Today in 1776: “… all men are born equally free…”

12 Jun

Today in 1776, the First Virginia Convention in Williamsburg adopts the Declaration of Rights, drafted by George Mason. The language used in the Virginia Declaration of Rights was used by Thomas Jefferson in drafting the Declaration of Independence, which would be adopted by the Continental Congress a few weeks later:

“… all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.”

You can read the entire Declaration of Rights at Archives.gov.

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