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You couldn't just Tweet the Declaration of Independence
July 12, 2012 1:45 PM   Subscribe

The Dunlap broadside was the first printing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (9 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
If you'll permit me a bit of self-linking, my library has a Dunlap broadside, as well as a letter from John Hancock to General Artemas Ward dated July 6, 1776, sending him a copy and instructing him to read it out to the troops. I just did a post about it for the Houghton Library Blog.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 1:59 PM on July 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, man, I saw the hand-written version of the Declaration at the National Archives a few years ago, and it was SO COOL. I had no idea how BIG it would be. (It's about 2 feet by 2 feet, according the the National Archives, but it actually looked a lot bigger than that to me. Maybe it's because I'm a nerd????!) I just kept staring at it, muttering, "They actually touched this one! Look! They all signed this! They actually signed it!" Again, I'm, uh, a nerd.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 2:18 PM on July 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know, the list of extant copies of the Dunlap broadside in the wikipedia link would make a fine FPP on its own:
"The Leary Copy" discovered in 1968 amid the stock of Leary's Book Store of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in a crate that had been unopened since 1911. Ira G. Corn Jr. and Joseph P. Driscoll of Dallas bought the manuscript on May 7, 1969. A group of 17 people later sold it to the Dallas city government.
I would happily read 10,000 words on the story of that copy, and that is not even the strangest of them.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:25 PM on July 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Descendants of the signers reading it. Very cool.
posted by dfm500 at 2:57 PM on July 12, 2012


I love the Dunlap broadsides!

I saw the Declaration at the National Archives this year. It was incredibly faded, creased and nearly impossible to read. However, it was still a special experience. I really wanted a copy to put up in my room but the gift shop only had the copies of the restored original. I could understand the draw, but it's hard to read and I wanted a broadside. The original was hidden away for years but the broadsides were for the people. I like to imagine that my revolutionary ancestors saw one (however it is doubtful that my farmers-turned-soldiers relatives could read).

Turns out not one of the gift shops I visited in DC sold a broadside of either the Declaration or the Constitution. Online shopping was a bust too. This image should be large enough to print myself. Thanks for the link!
posted by Vysharra at 3:09 PM on July 12, 2012


Ahhhh...Some good font nerditry there. Many thanks! Love Caslon. A great, hard-working family.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:12 PM on July 12, 2012


Whenever I see one of these, my first thought is always that the country should be called the U.f.A.
posted by chavenet at 3:24 PM on July 12, 2012


Turns out not one of the gift shops I visited in DC sold a broadside of either the Declaration or the Constitution. Online shopping was a bust too. This image should be large enough to print myself. Thanks for the link!

If you find yourself in Philadelphia, you'll want to visit the Franklin Print Shop. They (used to, 10+ years ago, and I imagine they still do) sell broadsides of the Declaration (even actual letterpress copies, IIRC).
posted by junco at 3:37 PM on July 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Currently you can see a Dunlap broadside of the Declaration of Independence on display at the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, AR. The exhibit is there until September 17th. As they say, No special tickets are required, and there is no admission fee to view Declaration. Space is limited in the exhibition area, and admission is first-come, first-served. There may be a waiting period for admittance.

I saw it last weekend while visiting friends in Fayetteville.
posted by grimjeer at 5:46 PM on July 12, 2012


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