In Congress, 4 July 1776. A Declaration... Philadelphia, John Dunlap, 1776.
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|On July 2, 1776, "the representatives
of the United States of America in General Congress assembled" resolved
"that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent
States." Two days later, behind the locked doors of the State House in
Philadelphia, the Committee of Five, made up of Thomas Jefferson, John
Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston, presented
before the Congress the draft of a declaration on which they had been at
work since mid-June, intended to justify to the world the action the Colonies
had taken. After some discussion and a number of changes in the wording,
the document was approved. Under the watchful eyes of the Committee of
Five, it was set in type; and sometime on the night of July 4th
or the morning of July 5th, the historic "Declaration of Independence"
came off the press of the Philadelphia printer John Dunlap.
Only twenty-one copies of the first printing of the Declaration of Independence survive. click here for the text
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