Last week, I highlighted four little-known facts about the Declaration of Independence. Here are a few more facts to add to those oddities:
There are at least 26 surviving paper copies of the Declaration of Independence of the hundreds made in July 1776 for circulation among the Colonies.
After Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, the Committee of Five, which was appointed to write it, was also responsible with overseeing its reproduction for proclamation to those living in the Colonies. The reproduction was done at the shop of Philadelphia printer John Dunlap.
"On July 5, Dunlap's copies were dispatched across the 13 colonies to newspapers, local officials and the commanders of the Continental troops. These rare documents, known as 'Dunlap broadsides,' predate the engrossed version signed by the delegates. Of the hundreds thought to have been printed on the night of July 4, only 26 copies survive. Most are held in museum and library collections, but three are privately owned," according to History's website.
6) When Gen. George Washington read aloud the Declaration of Independence in New York, a riot resulted.
History's website explains that by July 9, 1776, a copy of the Declaration of Independence had reached New York City. At the time, tensions about the Revolutionary War ran very high, with Americans split between revolutionists and loyalists. And British naval ships actually occupied New York Harbor at the time. When Washington read the words of the declaration in front of City Hall, a large crowd rallied and cheered. Later that day, they fell a statue of British King George III, melted it down and converted the lead into more than 42,000 musket balls for the Continental Army.
7) You can view rare copies of the Declaration of Independence across the country.
Scan the Internet for "Declaration of Independence" and you'll be surprised about what surfaces.
On June 25, a rare copy of the Declaration of Independence was purchased at auctioned in New York by a top executive of U.S. private equity giant The Carlyle Group for a record $632,500. It was printed in Benjamin Towne's July 6, 1776, issue of The Pennsylvania Evening Post. It was the first newspaper printing of the declaration and its second printing in any form. He plans to put it on display along with his other historical American documents.
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