Declaration of Independence.
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Declaration of Independence. Washington, D.C.: engraved by W.J. Stone, .
Folio broadside, printed on rice paper, formerly folded and included in Peter Force's (1790-1868) American Archives, an accurate, actual-size facsimile of the original document, the plate produced by Stone in 1823, at which time it was published in an edition of 200 copies, appearing at that time with a different imprint; in this, the Force Declaration, the Stone imprint is in the bottom left quadrant, under the first column of signatures; this copy has old folds, some rust spots along the left margin, and a small line along the lower-most left corner resembling mat burn, a small portion has been torn away from the blank right margin: 2 x 1/2 in.; a few light spots are also present; and some offsetting of the printed text, 25 1/2 x 29 1/4 in.
In 1820, fearing the state of preservation of the original Declaration of Independence, Secretary of State John Qunicy Adams commissioned the engraver William J. Stone to create a full-size facsimile. After three years of work on the plate, Congress ordered the publication of 200 copies on parchment. This edition was produced after Peter Force purchased the plate, with a plan to include a folded version in his publication, American Archives. Subscription orders proved disappointing and Force saw his project cancelled by Secretary of State William Marcy in 1853.
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