The Declaration of Independence

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Welcome to ushistory.org's Declaration of Independence website. This site provides a wealth of information about the signers of the Declaration, the history of the Declaration, and an online version of the Declaration for you to read.

The site also provides links to other Declaration-related biographies and histories and a guestbook where you are invited to add comments and ideas. This site is a good resource for anyone curious about the Declaration and its history, or for the student who needs resources for his or her research paper.

Where is the original Declaration?
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. See picture.

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." Regarding the message on the back, 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.

Do we have unalienable or inalienable Rights?
In the final version, we have unalienable Rights!

You will find the following resources on this site:

* The Declaration of Independence
The text and image of the Declaration.

* The Signers of the Declaration of Independence
This section gives a profile of every delegate who signed the Declaration in 1776. You will find factual information such as birth-death dates, occupation, education, etc. Each signer also has a short story of his life. A good resource for students.

* Related Information
This section provides a listing of people (George III, Patrick Henry, etc.), Events and Things (Boston Massacre, a Tax Stamp, etc.), and Laws and Resolutions (Sugar Act, Quartering Act, etc.).

* Thomas Jefferson's Account of the Declaration
Read the lengthy excerpt from Thomas Jefferson's autobiography that talks about the days leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the history of the document, and various other factors which involved the authoring of the Declaration.

* The Declaration House
Here is where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration. The house has been reconstructed and is now part of Independence National Historical Park. The Independence Hall Association, host of these web pages, led the efforts to have the Graff House reconstructed in 1975, in time for the Bicentennial.

* Links
This excellent collection of links provides other online resources about the Declaration of Independence. Such sites include analyses of the style of language in the Declaration, the story of the drafting of the document, and the relationship the Declaration has to other historic documents.

* Declaration Timeline
A Chronology of Events, June 7, 1776 to January 18, 1777.

* Revolutionary War Timeline
A Chronology from the French and Indian War to the Constitution

* More Information
A collection of orations and newspaper clippings

* Guestbook
Let us know you were here.

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