US Declaration print found at archives
Friday 03 July 2009
A rare and valuable copy of the US Declaration of Independence has been discovered in the National Archives.
An American antiquarian bookseller carrying out research at the archives in Richmond, Surrey, stumbled upon the document among some files. It is believed to be one of only 200 printed.
Dating back to 4 July 1776, the manuscript is known as a "Dunlap", after the printer whose name appears at the bottom. Only 26 such prints are known to still exist. The last discovery of a Dunlap was at a flea market in 1989. It sold at auction for $8.1m (£5m).
The manuscript was hidden among correspondence from American colonists that the British had intercepted in the 18th century. The archives is now known to hold three copies but said it would not be selling the print.
"We will protect and preserve this copy," a spokeswoman said.
"The Americans are very excited by it. We do often loan out our key documents and I'm sure if an American institution wanted to borrow it, we would consider lending it to them."
Edward Hampshire, a diplomatic and colonial specialist at the archives, said: "This is an incredibly exciting find... uncovering a new document nearly 250 years [after they were printed] is extremely rare, especially one in such good condition."
The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress which announced that 13 American colonies were no longer a part of the British Empire.
John Dunlap's prints were delivered to the founders on the morning of 5 July 1776. One copy was entered into the Congressional Journal. Others were distributed throughout the colonies.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
£30000 - £40000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Multi Skill...
£20000 - £21000 per annum: The Jenrick Group: This high quality manufacturer o...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Electrical ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company offers London's best photo booth ...