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    Description

    [Declaration of Independence]. The New-England Chronicle. Volume VIII. Numb. 413. Boston: Powars and Willis, July 18, 1776. Bifolium, printed in three columns. [4] pages (14.5 x 9.5 inches; 368 x 241 mm). The first Boston newspaper printing of the Declaration of Independence, tied with John Gill's Continental Journal, also published July 18, 1776. Margins trimmed close, but no loss to text. Page [1] has been reinforced on top and right margins, along with the left margin of page [2]. Window mounted to page [4]. Ink annotation, probable ownership, to page [1] is obscured by the reinforcement, yet bleed through is visible at the top of page [2], affecting first four lines of text in the third column and first word on first line of text in column two. Pricked for sewing along the integral fold of the newspaper. Dampstaining to top third of the integral fold that extends through all four pages. Toned with some light soiling, foxing, and wrinkling. Some minute areas of worming. Housed in custom portfolio of quarter morocco over blue cloth boards, gilt lettered spine; minor wear. A very good example of this early piece of American ephemera, uncommon at auction.

    Famously, on July 4th, 1776, the Continental Congress unanimously agreed to what has become known as the Declaration of Independence (save for the delegates from New York, who had no power to act). It was "Ordered That the declaration be authenticated & printed..." and the manuscript was given to John Dunlap who printed the broadside and began to distribute the document the next day. Michael J. Walsh, in his essay Contemporary Broadside Editions of the Declaration of Independence, printed in the Harvard Library Bulletin, Volume III, Number 1 (Winter 1949), notes, "the dissemination of this first printing of the Declaration stirred into action printers from Williamsburg, Virginia, to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Besides the nineteen editions or variants of editions in broadside form now known, the Declaration was printed in at least twenty-nine newspapers during July," of which this scarce, early printing of the Declaration is one.

    Brigham I, pages 321-322; Harvard Library Bulletin Volume III, Number 1 (Winter 1949), pages 31-43.




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2021
    9th-10th Wednesday-Thursday
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