According to John Bidwell's list, this is the sixth broadside edition of the Declaration of Independence. Bidwell locates only three copies of the Huntington printing of the Declaration, at the Huntington Library, Massachusetts Historical Society, and American Antiquarian Society.
The Declaration of Independence, the foundation document of the United States, has been printed numerous times since its original publication in 1776. At first as broadsides, then as an essential addition to any volume of laws, it was from the beginning a basic work in the American canon. The present document is one of the earliest broadside editions of the Declaration, done within a few years of the first broadside republications.
The first to make a popular reproduction of the Declaration was a writing master named Benjamin Owen Tyler, who created a calligraphic version of the Declaration and published it in 1818, recreating exactly the signatures of the signers as they appeared on the original (see preceding lot). Three other broadside printings of the Declaration were issued in 1818 and 1819, each containing ornamental borders or illustrations. These were followed in the early 1820s by the present printing by Hartford engraver and penmanship author Eleazer Huntington. Huntington followed Tyler's example by creating a calligraphic facsimile of the Declaration, but stripped out the ornaments and illustrations that had been added by previous publishers, returning the document to the simple title and text of the original, and providing the signatures of the signers in exact facsimile.
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