Dunlap's Printing of the Declaration of Independence


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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