NYPL will display a rare copy of the Declaration of Independence

Posted On Fri, June 28, 2019 By

Posted On Fri, June 28, 2019 By In History, Midtown, Museums

Photo by Nicole Mondrus for 6sqft

While hotels and parks around the city are getting ready for the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Show, the New York Public Library is going the historical route with their celebrations–by putting a rare copy of the Declaration of Independence on display. This copy, written in Thomas Jefferson’s handwriting, will be available to view for a limited time next Monday and Tuesday at their iconic Bryant Park location.

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The original copy of the Declaration of Independence was completed on July 1st, 1776, but underwent several changes before becoming ratified on July 4th. Most notable was the removal of Jefferson’s lengthy condemnation of slavery, a deletion made to appease delegates from Georgia and South Carolina.

Unhappy with the changes, Jefferson wrote several copies of the document he originally submitted. He underlined the passages that were ultimately omitted from the final text and sent them to a handful of his close friends. This document–a clean, unaltered, full-text version of the manuscript–is known as a “fair copy.” The copy on display at the New York Public Library is one of only four copies that survived intact, making it a truly rare piece of history.

The copy will be available for the public to view for two days only. The exhibit is open July 1st from 10 am to 5 pm, and July 2nd from 10 am to 7 pm, and admission is free. For more info, click here.

Although the run is extremely limited, don’t worry if you miss it. After the document’s two-day showing, it will join a permanent exhibition of the New York Public Library’s Treasures at the Polonsky Exhibition, set to open in November 2020.

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Neighborhoods : Bryant Park,Midtown

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