Within hours of the vote approving and announcing the American Declaration of Independence, copies of the text were printed in Philadelphia by John Dunlap (1747–1812), by order of the Continental Congress. One copy was sent to the Continental Army, then encamped outside New York City, and General George Washington (1732–99, first President of the United States, 1789–97) ordered it to be read aloud to his troops. A copy also made its way to the British fleet anchored in New York Harbour, where it was received by Admiral Richard Howe (1726–99) and sent on to the King and Parliament. The Dunlap printing reflected the changes made to Jefferson’s draft of the Declaration by Congress. No fewer than 26 copies of the Dunlap printing survive today, including three in London. This copy was discovered in the United Kingdom National Archives in 2008.
- Full title:
- In Congress, July 4, 1776. A Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress Assembled
- 4 July 1776
- © National Archives
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© The National Archives, London
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- National Archives
- EXT 9/93
- Article by:
- Matthew Shaw
From the early colony of Pennsylvania, to the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, Curator Dr Matthew Shaw reveals the influence of Magna Carta as a symbol of liberty in early America.
- Article by:
- Jim Watt
- Politics and religion, Travel, colonialism and slavery
In the 17th century, London was at the centre of global trade, with goods and individuals arriving in the capital from all over the world. Jim Watt looks at how travel, trade and empire shaped the works of Daniel Defoe, Alexander Pope, Josiah Wedgwood, Oliver Goldsmith and Ignatius Sancho.