The Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence

The Want, Will, and Hopes of the People

Declaration text | Rough Draft | Congress's Draft | Compare | Dunlap Broadside | Image | Scan

Scan of the Engrossed Version

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The original Declaration is now exhibited in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom in Washington, DC. It has faded badly, largely because of poor preservation techniques during the 19th century. The document measures 29-3/4 inches by 24-1/2 inches.

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What's on the Back?

People who watched the popular movie "National Treasure" want to know. On the back, at the bottom, upside-down is simply written:

"Original Declaration of Independence
dated 4th July 1776"

According to the National Archives, "While no one knows for certain who wrote it, it is known that early in its life, the large parchment document was rolled up for storage. So, it is likely that the notation was added simply as a label."

There are no hidden messages.

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Copyright ©1999- by the Independence Hall Association, a nonprofit organization in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, founded in 1942. Publishing electronically as On the Internet since July 4, 1995.

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