Declaration of Independence


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John Trumbull, Declaration of Independence, 1818. Oil on canvas. Rotunda, US Capitol 

First printing, broadsheet printed by John Dunlap, Philadelphia, July 4, 1776

Lent by Chapin Library of Rare Books, Williams College

This original copy of the Declaration is labeled on the back of the sheet in the distinctive handwriting of Joseph Hewes, a delegate from North Carolina who was one of the signatories of the document. Of the twenty-six known surviving copies of the first printing of the Declaration of Independence, this is the only one that is definitively associated with one of the signatories.