Three Words Ben Franklin Crossed out of the Declaration of Independence

ca. 1900 ---  by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

ca. 1900 — by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

“Franklin made only a few changes, some of which can be viewed written in his own hand on what Jefferson referred to as the ‘rough draft’ of the Declaration. The most important of his edits was small but resounding. He crossed out, using the heavy backslashes that he often employed, the last three words of Jefferson’s phrase ‘We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable’ and changed them to the words now enshrined in history: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident.’

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