Jefferson, a delegate from Virginia, was one member of a committee of 5 men, appointed by the Second Continental Congress to create a draft of a statement to declare independence. The committee discussed general points to make and elements to emphasize, then chose Jefferson to compose the first draft of the document. The other committee members, and then the Second Continental Congress as a whole, made editorial changes to Jefferson's draft. The Declaration was understood to be the expression of the entire Congress. From this perspective, the Declaration did not have a single author, nor was it intended to express a single man's philosophy or point of view.
"The Declaration Committee," Currier and Ives, New York, 1876. Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-820].