Saturday, July 04, 2009


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Today several bloggers, including myself, have chosen the Declaration of Independence as a subject for blogging.

Researching and refreshing my history, I was surprised that my memorized version of the above most quoted statement was incorrect. I had always said "inalienable rights." The quote is from the Declaration of Independence page on US site of the Independence Hall Association, a non-profit association in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

A number of bloggers apparently agree with me.

Having an inquisitive mind, I decided to do a little more reading.

Apparently, a number of us are misinformed. The Jefferson Memorial inscription of this sentence has several errors, according to this New York Times article today, included "inalienable" instead of "unalienable."

There is this tedious treatise, UNALIENABLE. I was more confused, than informed!

Then there was this more informative, and believable analysis; Unalienable/Inalienable. Apparently, Thomas Jefferson preferred Inalienable. Two known drafts in Jefferson's handwriting in The New York Public Library and The American Philosophical Society (Philadelphia) have the word, "inalienable."

Some of Jefferson's notes refer to gentlemanly debate over many topics. Just maybe Jefferson lost the debate of INALIENABLE vs. UNALIENABLE!

I stand with Jefferson....not that is makes a whit of difference!


Amber Star said...

I'll keep it in mind there are two spellings. Personally I think Jefferson was a smart guy and meant what he said.

Thanks for doing so much research on this, as it has bothered me all day.

There was something else brilliant I was going to say but got into a conversation with is gone now. :)

Arkansas Patti said...

I always said inalienable. Hum. Thanks for doing the research.
Lets hope we someday lock them up for ALL peoples.

Renie Burghardt said...

Hmm, interesting.

I stand with Jefferson as well!

Hope your Independence Day was nice. We just got home from the cabin, where we ate too much, but everyone had a good time. We had a little shower on the way home, but it didn't amount to much. Still a chance for more tonight.

Take care!


NitWit1 said...

Refreshing my memory, made me even more appreciative of these men who care so much for freedom. On one web site there is a time line of the various meetings leading up to the final draft.

I tried to visualize what a burdensome trip from SC and Georgia to Philadelphia, or even Virginia, it must have been.

These men took off time from their various occupations to make these trips, I assume by horseback. Most received no pay.

Freedom is not free, even for our forefathers who were early politicians.

Lorna said...

Unalienable just sounds so wrong--so kind of spacey.

Happy fourth

Silver said...

Can you believe that i had hovered around your blog a couple of times and still can't think of a comment?

Can i just send you my hugs instead- at least just for this time?


NitWit1 said...

Silver: Thanks for Hugs. I often find myself in the same dilemma.

Really, this post was a somewhat footnote of history which I personally never noticed until I reread my post just prior to this one, and some comments by readers.

Actually, I find it somewhat amusing, but admirable our forefathers spent time parsing words. They wanted to convey exactly their heartfelt longing for the rights they perceived were granted by an omnipotent Creator and should not be negated by earthly authority.