Friday, December 28, 2007

Early Declaration Facsimile Found at Supreme Court

A rare 1823 facsimile copy of the Declaration of Independence (printed on vellum by Washington engraver William Stone) was discovered behind a filing cabinet in a clerk's office at the Supreme Court before it was found in 2003 and put on display in a hallway last year, the Legal Times reports. The Declaration was on display in the clerk's office from 1935 through 1996, but was then placed behind the filing cabinet during renovations and "forgotten."

The copy is one of 200 printed by Stone at the request of Secretary of State John Quincy Adams; those copies were sent to each state, the members of Congress, and the justices of the Supreme Court.

The MHS's two copies of this Declaration each include the following note, written by John Quincy Adams: "Quincy 3 October 1826. This is one of two fac-simile copies of the original Declaration of Independence, engraved by my direction when secretary of state, and placed at the Library of Congress. the two copies were by a joint resolution of that body presented to John Adams, then one of the surviving signers of the Declaration. John Quincy Adams."