First published announcement of the Declaration of Independence

Newspaper Article

Background Notes

On June 28, 1776, Thomas Jefferson brought before Congress the Committee of Five's draft of the Declaration of Independence. Congress made 47 alterations to the proposed copy before voting for independence on July 2, after which an additional thirty-nine alterations were made over the course of the next two days. The approved edited manuscript was sent to John Dunlap, printer to congress and printed overnight. Broadsides were immediately distributed among the colonies and in addition to being read aloud in public venues, were quickly reprinted in multiple formats including verbatim broadside copies, newspapers and announcements.[1]

The example demonstrated here was the first republished copy of the Dunlap original, followed by more than 20 newspapers over the next two weeks.[2]

1. Starr, Thomas, "Separated at Birth: Text and Context of the Declaration of Independence," Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, Vol. 110 part 2 (Worcester:2002)157

2. Starr, 159

Transcription of Primary Source

This day the CONTINENTAL CONGRESS declared the UNITED COLONIES FREE and INDEPENDENT STATES.

Curator Notes

Type: Newspaper

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Year: 1776
Probable Date: July 6, 1776

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Publisher: Philidelphia Evening Post
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Catalog Number: American Antiquarian Society