Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO JOHN VAUGHAN - The Works, vol. 12 (Correspondence and Papers 1816-1826)
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TO JOHN VAUGHAN - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 12 (Correspondence and Papers 1816-1826) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 12.
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TO JOHN VAUGHAN
Monticello, September 16, 1825
—I am not able to give you any particular account of the paper handed you by Mr. Lee, as being either the original or a copy of the Declaration of Independence, sent by myself to his grandfather. The draught, when completed by myself, with a few verbal amendments by Dr. Franklin and Mr. Adams, two members of the committee, in their own hand-writing, is now in my own possession, and a fair copy of this was reported to the committee, passed by them without amendment, and then reported to Congress. This latter should be among the records of the old Congress; and whether this or the one from which it was copied and now in my hands, is to be called the original, is a question of definition. To that in my hands, if worth preserving, my relations with our University gives irresistible claims. Whenever, in the course of the composition, a copy became over-charged, and difficult to be read with amendments, I copied it fair, and when that also was crowded with other amendments, another fair copy was made, &c. These rough draughts I sent to distant friends who were anxious to know what was passing. But how many, and to whom, I do not recollect. One sent to Mazzei was given by him to the Countess de Tessé (aunt of Madame de Lafayette) as the original, and is probably now in the hands of her family. Whether the paper sent to R. H. Lee was one of these, or whether, after the passage of the instrument, I made a copy for him, with the amendments of Congress, may, I think, be known from the face of the paper. The documents Mr. Lee has given you must be of great value, and until all these private hoards are made public, the real history of the revolution will not be known.