November 15, 2011 columns

Excursions Tuesday: Thomas Jefferson, the Plagiarist?

In this week's Excursions​ essay, George H. Smith continues his series on the Declaration of Independence. Here he looks at the historical evidence for plagiarism on the part of Thomas Jefferson.

After decades of studying the Declaration and the standard sources of Real (or Radical) Whig ideas, I have found no compelling reasons to doubt Jefferson’s claim that he “turned to neither book nor pamphlet while writing” the Declaration, and that it was not “copied from any particular and previous writing.”

Read the whole thing.