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It is commonly held that a “Committee of Five” penned the Declaration of Independence. It included Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman. In October 2018, university researcher Gary Berton said that American revolutionary Thomas Paine also had a hand in writing the document. Paine is known for writing Common Sense, a pamphlet containing ideas later included in the Declaration of Independence. But he is not historically known as an author on the US founding document. Berton thinks Paine should be.

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