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The phrase "are and of right ought to be..." was not in Jefferson's "rough" draft but was added by the Congress. To find the person (or persons) who recommended that phrase, you will need to do some research. Of the many books that examine the wording and the drafts of the Declaration of Independence and that might have a note about the author(s) of those words, three are easily available:

--Pauline Maier, American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence
--Gary Wills, Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence
--Carl Becker, Declaration of Independence: A Study in the History of Political Ideas

Unfortunately, Jefferson's extensive notes about the history and the development of the Declaration do not mention the phrase or its origin.

Here is another clue that might help you in your search. On March 18, 1766, the British Parliament issued the "Declaratory Act" ("An act for the better securing the dependency of his majesty's dominions in America upon the crown and parliament of Great Britain"), in which it was declared that "the said colonies and plantations in America have been, are, and of right ought to be, subordinate unto, and dependent upon the imperial crown and parliament of Great Britain; and that the King's majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons of Great Britain, in parliament assembled, (has), bath, and of right ought to have, full power and authority to make laws and statutes of sufficient force and validity to bind the colonies and people of America, subjects of the crown of Great Britain, in all cases whatsoever...." [emphasis added]

Thus, England's own words and justification for keeping the colonies subordinate to her power and authority were turned against her when the colonies announced that "these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States...." Whether that happened by design or by coincidence, you may be able to discern after you have researched the issue.



That's nice and all but...

Richard Henry Lee originally said that.

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14y ago
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15y ago

That is a line from the Declaration of Independence. That line was added to the Declaration of Independence, having been originally spoken by Richard Henry Lee.

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13y ago

Richard Henry Lee

And it's ought, not out

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Richard Henry Lee

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Richard Henry Lee

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Q: Who put the qoute in the Declaration of Independence 'These united colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent states'?
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to become free and independent states


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What did the declaration of independence allowed the American colonies to do?

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