Declaration of Independence


Declaration of Independence


This broadside is the first printing of the Declaration of Independence, printed by John Dunlap of Philadelphia on the night of July 4, 1776, and delivered to Congress the next morning. The Declaration was drafted by the Committee of Five: Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman. Congress voted for independence on July 2 and the entire Congressional body spent the next two days altering and refining the Declaration. The broadside was quickly disseminated to the colonies and by July 18, twenty-four newspapers had used the Dunlap broadside as an exemplar from which to republish the text. The signed manuscript copy, held by the National Archives, was not completed and signed until August 2. Although it is now estimated that between four and five hundred Dunlap broadsides were printed, only twenty-five copies have been located.

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Philadelphia: Printed by John Dunlap




Lilly Library J10 .D76 vault