Of course Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. But not alone. The Declaration was the work of a committee—Jefferson plus Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin. Historian Gil Klein writes on this topic in the Winter 2011 issue of the Colonial Williamsburg Journal:
Reason first: you are a Virginian and a Virginian ought to appear at the head of this business. Reason second: I am obnoxious, suspected and unpopular. You are very much otherwise. Reason third: You can write ten times better than I can.
Adams’ biographer David McCullough questions that account. Jefferson records no such conversation—he said the committee unanimously appointed him writer. Karie Diethorn, [curator of Independence National Historical Park], says, ‘Jefferson is remembered as the author of the Declaration, but it is not true that he wrote it alone. The evidence shows that Adams and Franklin were part of the drafting process all along. Jefferson had the style and the art, Franklin had the wit, the practical publisher printer sense, and Adams had the erudition. The three of them really crafted that document.'”
Read the entire article at http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/Winter11/painting.cfm