Congress itself appointed a committee to write the document. The committee consisted of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Jefferson, Robert R. Livingston of New York and Roger Sherman of Connecticut. The committee then selected Jefferson do the actual drafting. There were two other committees appointed at the same time. One was to draft articles of confederation, the other was to draft a proposed peace treaty with France. Jefferson was selected for a couple of reasons. First, he was a Virginian, which helped. He also had a reputation as a scholar, a scientist, and he had a knack for composition. Supposedly Jefferson first suggested that Adams write the document, but Adams convinced Jefferson that he was better suited since he was a Virginian, and Adams felt that he (Adams) was too obnoxious, and the delegates would not accept what he wrote.
Originally Posted by Together2813
Prior to the committee being formed, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia, had proposed the following resolutions on June 7, 1776....
John Adams seconded the resolution (motion). The committees were appointed shortly thereafter. Lee would probably have been on the committee (perhaps in Jefferson's place) and may have even chaired it but he had to return home quickly due to the sudden illness of his wife.
"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;
That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign alliances;
That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation."
The rest is history.
Does that help?