January 18, 2018

How many Parchment Copies of the Declaration of Independence have been Found?

How many Parchment Copies of the Declaration of Independence have been Found?

Until recently there was just one known parchment copy of the US Declaration of Independence.

A second parchment copy of the Declaration of Independence has been found in England, CNN reported.

It’s a remarkable discovery, because the only other parchment manuscript copy of the historic document is housed behind glass at the National Archives in Washington, DC.

The copies of the Declaration of Independence are facsimiles of the one housed in the National Archives, which is called the Matlack Declaration and regarded as the official document.

Danielle Allen and Emily Sneff, both researchers at Harvard University, found this parchment manuscript in a records office in Sussex County, England. They are calling it The Sussex Declaration, CNN report added.

“Up until now, only one large-format ceremonial parchment manuscript was known to exist,” Allen said. “That one is in the National Archives and was produced in 1776. This one was produced a decade later, with the signed parchment as its source.”

Both versions measure 24 by 30 inches, although unlike the official one the Sussex copy is oriented horizontally.

The list of signatories in “The Sussex Declaration” is not grouped by states. It supports the notion that the Declaration’s authority rested on one united people, not a collection of states.

It is unclear, however, when and how the parchment reached the UK.

Pic: archives.gov

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