The arguing principle of the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [sic] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...”,1 spoke to the supposed character of the Colonial inhabitants, when the delegates of the 13 colonies declared independence from the British on July 4, 1776 and while they continued to discuss the dangerous and bold steps of their future national government during the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. Questioning both the nature of these truths and their self-evidence, this research seeks to explore what it meant to be American, for these patriots at the birth of the new Nation, through a comparative analysis of the legal meaning of this principle of equality with the everyday reality of being American, through the lenses of the Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. The quest of this endeavor is to elucidate who was vested to access those rights, and how these rights reflect on the meaning of being American at the birth of the American experiment. This study argues that the meaning of being American has intrinsically been a dissonant reality since the birth of the American experiment. Unpacking this intrinsic incongruence between the legal written foundational principles and its dissonant practice through the epistolary exchange between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson –Founding Fathers as well as its consonant denouncing by Phillis Wheatly –the young-enslaved poetess, helps us to comprehend the ways in which the citizens of the United States have acted, and have understood themselves as Americans, at the birth of the American Experiment. fn 1 At the time of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the word men was understood as people, its meaning indicated men are women.