Thomas Jefferson got much of the glory, and we celebrate July 4.
We might learn about how politics works, and who does the heavy lifting, if we remember the full history.
On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia rose in the 2nd Continental Congress to propose a resolution calling for a declaration of independence of the thirteen colonies, from Britain.
Lee came to Philadelphia as a delegate to the First Continental Congress in 1774, and was reappointed to the Second Continental Congress.
On June 7, 1776, Lee proposed a resolution which read in part:
Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.
He had returned to Virginia by the time the Declaration of Independence was drafted and approved on July 2, but he signed the document when he returned to Congress.
Lee served as president of the Second Continental Congress (November 1784 to November 1785), and after the formation of the United States, as U.S. Senator from Virginia. In the Senate, he was President pro tempore.