"Declaration of Independence" printed by John Dunlap (Philadelphia)
Each one is printed by hand in the recreation of Franklin's printing office operated by the National Park Service. They are printed on 100% Cotton Linen, Very-Fine Crane Laid paper. The print is about 22 1/2" x 17 1/2".
The Boston broadside of the Declaration of Independence from the Printing Office of Edes & Gill is also available, as is the Baltimore broadside printed by Mary Katherine Goddard. Use the pull down menu above to purchase all three and save $8.
The Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence is the founding document of The United States of America. Written by Thomas Jefferson, one of the five members of the Committee that Congress had appointed to draft the document, between June 11 and June 28, 1776. The other members were John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman.
Congress voted for Independence on July 2 and then took up Jefferson’s draft for the next two days. Eighty-six alterations were made to the draft, and Congress approved the document on July 4, 1776.
John Dunlap prints the Declaration of Independence
Congress then ordered the committee that drafted the Declaration to oversee the printing of the Declaration. A fair copy was made of the amended draft and hand carried by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin to the printing office of John Dunlap in Philadelphia on the afternoon of the 4. The Declaration was printed that night into the early morning of July 5. John Hancock, President of Congress began to send out “official copies” on the 5 and 6 of July to all thirteen Colonies, ordering them to print the Declaration in their newspapers and generally distribute the news as they saw fit."
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. (This timeline shows the signing, printing, and dissemination of the Declaration.)
The Declaration that Mr. Dunlap printed is very different in appearance from the Declaration we have come to know.
Dunlap printed it on an approximately 14.5 x 18 sheet using the typeface Caslon.
Although it is estimated that between four and five hundred Dunlap broadsides were printed, only twenty-five copies have been located. Two are in the Library of Congress. One of these was Washington’s personal copy.
- Details in this listing at Christie's about specific printings and the way in which the document was distributed to major cities.
- The Declaration Resources Project at Harvard.
- The Library of Congress's site on the Declaration, with links to additional resources.