Several key figures of the Revolution wrote, drafted, edited, and composed the document. Among these were John Adams, John Livingston, and Benjamin Franklin. Thomas Jefferson, however, would become the primary drafter.
The Declaration stated that "all men are created equal". It further explained that "they are endowed by their creator certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". Colonists felt entitled to these freedoms, so they were declaring independence from Great Britain.
The Declaration was written, finalized, and signed at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was also here that the Continental Congress would set forth plans for their newly independent nation.