The declaration of freedom is near and dear come the university of Literally. 

The college owns two duplicates of a rare early on printing of the declaration, and also “Declaring Independence: Creating and also Recreating America’s Document” is a long-term exhibit on screen in the Albert and also Shirley little Special collections Library. 

Albert H. Small, a indigenous of Washington, D.C., graduated from the school of Engineering and also Applied science in 1946. He began collecting rare books and manuscripts, and also presented his extraordinary statements of self-reliance collection to the University beginning in 1999.

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In observance that the holiday, brush up on 10 things you may not have actually known about the document. 

1. The declaration of freedom was no actually signed top top July 4, 1776.

The second Continental Congress adopted it that day, yet the 56 to represent did not take increase the quill pen till Aug. 2 – virtually a month later.

John Dunlap, the main printer of Congress, worked all night and into the morning of July 5 to create the “broadside,” a large, single-sided sheet, comparable to a poster. UVA"s permanent exhibit includes one of only 26 well-known surviving copies of that an initial printing – just without all those signatures affixed at the bottom.

2. The only names that appear on that first copy are those of john Hancock, Congress’ president, and secretary Charles Thomson.

On display in the “Declaring Independence” exhibit space rare, early on printings, and the subscription publication in i m sorry Benjamin Owen Tyler take it orders for his facsimile. His subscription publication contains the signatures of Jefferson, James Madison, john Quincy Adams and other notables that the brand-new republic.



3. The library’s copy was likely stolen from George Washington.

“There is a strong possibility that the Albert little copy the the Dunlap broadside, currently at UVA, as soon as belonged come George Washington,” stated David R. Whitesell, curator of unique collections. “Its provenance have the right to be traced ago to the early on 19th century, when it remained in Tobias Lear’s possession. Lear, who was Washington’s an individual secretary so late in life, is well-known to have actually taken a variety of documents, possibly including this broadside, indigenous Washington’s files shortly after ~ Washington’s fatality in 1799.”

The library likewise owns second copy that it purchased in the 1950s. That is in poorer condition and also only made accessible to default researchers.

4. The Pennsylvania Evening write-up featured the statements in that July 6 edition, the an initial to print it ~ the Dunlap broadside.

On July 5, Hancock had actually the broadsides distributed to it is in read and posted. Extr printings quickly multiplied transparent the swarms to spread out the that independence. The collection has a copy the the Philadelphia elafilador.netpaper, as well as elafilador.netpaper reports from other colonies. 

5. Thomas Jefferson was just 33 year old when he wrote the declaration, but currently a famous and accomplished writer. That received assist from john Adams and Benjamin Franklin to draft the revolutionary document he dubbed “an expression that the American mind.”

Jefferson left explicit instructions that he wanted his gravestone to be inscribed, “Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, author of the declaration of American Independence, of the state of for spiritual freedom and also Father the the college of”

6. The new York delegation at very first abstained indigenous adopting the declaration in ~ the July 4 meeting.

“The brand-new York delegates come the continental Congress abstained native adopting the declaration,” Whitesell said, “because they were awaiting instructions native the brand-new York Provincial Congress. Those instructions (to poll for independence) did no arrive until after July 4, since the new York Provincial Congress had actually to evacuate new York top top June 30 together British military forces approached.”

7. Ralph Trembly’s lithograph that the starting Fathers signing the explanation depicts a fictitious event.

The lithograph reproduced a paint by john Trumbull, which this particular day hangs in the Rotunda the the U.S. Capitol. The U.S. Congress commissioned Trumbull in 1817 to do the paint – even though the does not include all of the signers – together on July 4.

8. The signers knew what they were doing might cost them their lives.

Benjamin Rush, representative of Pennsylvania, created their activity “was thought by many at the time to be our own death warrants.” The British did target the founding Fathers, destroying and looting numerous of your homes. Yes sir a story that john Hart of new Jersey, as soon as he come out the hiding and also returned home, never found all of his children.

9. The Marquis de Lafayette hung an official engraving of the U.S. Explanation of freedom in his bedroom suite.

Secretary the State man Quincy Adams commissioned William J. Rock to do an main facsimile of the declaration in 1823, and also 200 copies were printed, 2 of i beg your pardon the State Department offered to Lafayette.

10. The Albert tiny collection is the most comprehensive collection of letters, documents and early printings relating come the declaration and also its signers.

The exhibit additionally includes printings that the declaration through history, letters and documents indigenous the 56 signers, and also a 13-minute documentary film reflecting the story the the occasions that led to the establishing of this country.

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The little Special collection Library is right now open just by appointment, yet you have the right to visit the library"s online exhibition that discover the story behind the production and also dissemination that the explanation of Independence.