To celebrate The Declaration Independence, visit the exhibit from the Library of Congress on Thomas Jefferson and Establishing a Federal Republic.
And visit the Who2 biography of Thomas Jefferson.
The Library of Congress exhibit is terrific. It has brief bits of information on the difficulties the Founding Fathers had in forming the republic. As it shows, talking of the Founding Fathers as a cohesive unit is a little like calling Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien “fellow Tonight Show hosts.”
The exhibit includes scans of documents from the early days of the republic, including nasty politicking, rumor-mongering and editorial cartoons like this one:
Like today’s editorial cartoons, it’s neither funny nor decipherable.
Unlike this design done by Jefferson (the graphic artist!) for the nation’s seal — he took on the job that same July 4th of 1776:
As you can tell, they kept the E Pluribus Unum and the spooky eyeball, but ditched the Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God and the horses swimming under an ulcerated wound in the sky.