Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence is a full and formal declaration adopted on July 4 1776, stating that the thirteen American colonies were now independent states and were no longer a part of the British Empire, making them into the United States.
On June 6 1776, Richard Henry Lee introduced a resolution urging Congress to declare independence from Great Britain. Congress chose the “Committee of five”, made up of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin and Robert R. Livingstone to draft a declaration of independence on June 11.
After some consideration, Congress chose to adopt the Lee Resolution on July 2, which declared the United States to become independent of the British Empire.
On July 4 the final copy of the Declaration of Independence was adopted.
The original Declaration of Independence was lost shortly after it was signed and a new copy was produced and resigned on August 2 1776. The details of the original had been retained by John Dunlap who did the original printing work. It is this copy and not the original which is on display alongside the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in the rotunda of the National Archives and Records Building in Washington D.C.
It is thought that around 200 of the second copy of the Declaration were printed to be read to the general public. 27 copies of this printing of the Declaration are known to exist today.
A 1776 copy of the reprinted Declaration was sold for $8.14 million by Sotheby’s to television producer Norman Lear in June 2000.
A rare 1823 copy of the Declaration of Independence was sold at auction for $477,650 by a man who found it in a thrift store in Nashville for $2.48. The man, Michael Sparks, sold the document at Raynors’ Historical Collectibles Auction in Burlington, NC on March 23 2007.
An 1848 copy of the Declaration of Independence was sold for $90,000 by Paul Fraser Collectibles in June 2010.
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