When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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. Declaration of Independence - USA
Thomas Stone was a wealthy lawyer and plantation owner in Maryland who served diligently on the committee of confederation appointed by the Continental Congress. This committee eventually produced the Articles of Confederation, which was the ruling federal document from 1777 until the creation of the US Constitution in 1787. He died suddenly at the age of 45 in 1787.