11-18-2007 11-18-2007
Skinner Auctions
Skinner Auctions Boston MA
2386 Boston
November 18, 2007 11:00 AMCalender

Rare and Historically Important Contemporary Broadside Printing of the Declaration of Independence

Auction: Books & Manuscripts - 2386 Location: Boston Date / Time: November 18, 2007 11:00AM


Rare and Historically Important Contemporary Broadside Printing of the Declaration of Independence, Boston: John Gill, and Powars and Willis, in Queen-Street, sheet size 19 1/2 x 12 3/4 in. Sotheby's Checklist 8b. Walsh 10: "Evans 15161. Ford, Mass. Broadsides, 1954. Two columns. Reproduced in Justin Winsor, Narrative and Critical History of America (Boston, 1884-89), VI, 267. This is a second issue of No. 9, with the 'rule' and imprint added. Additional spacing has been allowed between the lines of the heading, and an error in the word 'Declare' in the last paragraph has been corrected, but otherwise there were no substantial changes."

Note: This broadside was likely printed between July 12-16th, 1776. This date, just days after the July 4th signing of the original document in Philadelphia, is evidence of the fervor with which the courageous and passionate contents of the document were received by the press and the public. The signers of the Declaration decreed that the document be disseminated to the populace. The first replication of the original document was done by John Dunlap in Philadelphia the night of July 4th, for distribution on the 5th. The progress of the contents of the Declaration up the East coast can be traced by studying the dates of the broadside printings throughout the month of July. Due to the transient nature of paper, and the heavy handling that these broadsides would have received, there are believed to be fewer than one hundred of any date still known to have survived. These early broadside printings of the Declaration, arguably one of the most famous documents ever conceived, represent the lucent spark that ignited the flame of the Revolutionary War. There are few documents still in existence that so summarily changed the course of modern history.

Sold to benefit a Massachusetts Historical Society.
Estimate $70,000-90,000


John Gill, Massachusetts, Ford, Philadelphia, 4th of July, John Dunlap, East coast, Massachusetts Historical Society