William J. Stone, engraver, lithographer, and sculptor, was born in London, England and was brought to America as a child in 1804. After studying engraving under Peter Maverick in New York, he established a firm in Washington, D.C. in 1815 where he did a significant amount of work for the federal government. He is best known for his 1823 copper plate engraving of the Declaration of Independence. All subsequent exact facsimiles of the Declaration descend from the Stone plate.
Subsequent to 1823 Stone made additional printings from his plate, altering the location of the engraver's imprint. The item owned by VMI is an example from one of these subsequent printings (ca. 1833-1843) and was held until 1941 by a descendant of the engraver.