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New scientific techniques have uncovered some corrections made to early drafts of one of the most important documents in American history. Researchers discovered that Thomas Jefferson used the word “subjects” when referring to the people of the colonies in one of the early drafts of the Declaration of Independence. The Library released news of the stricken words nearly a year after the discovery was originally made. Research chemist Fenalia France said, “The laboratory made the discovery last year by using hyper spectral imaging, a high resolution digital camera that compiles a series of images to highlight layers of a document.”

The changes are nearly invisible until the technique is applied which brings underlying text and even finger prints into view. Researchers believe Jefferson wrote “subjects” and then changed his mind. He apparently used his hand to wipe the word out while the ink was wet. Scientists of preservation at the Library of Congress theorize Jefferson either had concerns about his spelling, or trouble breaking from the tradition of rule by a monarch. Though his early draft used the word “subjects” to refer to the American public, Jefferson later replaced it with the word “citizens” which appears frequently in the final draft.

--Third President Thomas Jefferson Independence Draft,; July 4, 2010. Illustration by Jim L. Wilson and Jim Sandell.

Philippians 3:20 (CEV) “But we are citizens of heaven and are eagerly waiting for our Savior to come from there.”

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