The Declaration of Independence is perhaps the most masterfully written state paper of Western civilization. As Moses Coit Tyler noted almost a century ago, no assessment of it can be complete without taking into account its extraordinary merits as a work of political prose style. Although many scholars have recognized those merits, there are surprisingly few sustained studies of the stylistic artistry of the Declaration. This essay seeks to illuminate that artistry by probing the discourse microscopically -- at the level of the sentence, phrase, word, and syllable. The University of Wisconsin's Dr. Stephen E. Lucas meticulously analyzes the elegant language of the 235-year-old charter in a distillation of this comprehensive study. More on the Declaration: full transcript and ultra-high-resolution scan, a transcript and scan of Jefferson's annotated rough draft, the little-known royal rebuttal, a thorough history of the parchment itself, a peek at the archival process, a reading of the document by the people of NPR and by a group of prominent actors, H. L. Mencken's "American" translation, Slate's Twitter summaries, and a look at the fates of the 56 signers.
The Massachusetts Historical Society has a nice collection of Thomas Jefferson's papers online. It includes two catalogs of Jefferson's books, a draft of the Declaration of Independence and his Garden Book. Architectural Drawings too! [more inside]
Mandership is mostly concerned with graphic and industrial design, interface engineering, typography, semiotics, and visualization, but it's more. Learn about how the Declaration of Independence wound up in the Ukraine (did it?) a short history of telephone numbers, book spines, and of course simplicity of design. From the same folks who brought you the Optimus keyboard. (previously)
Today is Texas Independence Day On March 2, 1836, the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed at Washington-on-the-Brazos. The document was created by the Convention of 1836 while almost a couple hundred brave Texans at the Alamo held Gen. Santa Anna's army of several thousand at bay for 13 days. On March 6, the Alamo finally fell, slaughtered to the last man. On March 27, 352 Texas soliders were slaughtered at the Goliad Massacre. Finally on April 21, the untrained armies of Texas, outnumbered and under the command of Sam Houston, decisively defeated the much larger and better trained and equipped Army of Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto and captured the Mexican dictator Santa Anna. Happy Texas Independence Day.
Declaration of Independence Banned at Calif School? WTF? That's what I thought when I first read it. I read more and again I said: WTF? This can't be right! So, I looked around a bit and I realised some people had already a different perspective on this.
The Declaration of Independence in American by H.L. Mencken, circa 1921. A quote: "When things get so balled up that the people of a country have to cut loose from some other country, and go it on their own hook, without asking no permission from nobody, excepting maybe God Almighty, then they ought to let everybody know why they done it, so that everybody can see they are on the level, and not trying to put nothing over on nobody." Gangbusters!
The American Declaration of Independence. Given the debate over whether the US can or should try to do nation-building in Afghanistan, I wonder if revisiting our own Declaration of Independence would clarify things. It strikes me that this document (especially the preamble) would apply to anyone, anywhere. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...
The opening bid for the Declaration of Independence, which went on sale at sothebys.com at 9am this morning, was $4,000,000.
The opening bid for the Declaration of Independence, which went on sale at sothebys.com at 9am this morning, was $4,000,000. I can't comment too much, because I work for the Sotheby's, but when the sale closes at 5pm today, it may be the most valuable object ever sold online. We're all going to stand in a big room from 4-5 today and watch the bids come in.