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In Congress, July 4, 1776: The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America [Declaration of Independence], ca. 1833 printing

 Item
Identifier: MS-0526-Oversized
Engraving of Declaration of Independence by William J. Stone. It dates from around the time of the Stone's second printing, ca. 1833, and was one of his personal copies. Stone's engravings show both the text and the signatures in facsimile, very close in appearance to the original.

Dates

  • ca. 1833-1843

Creator

Physical Description

37.5 x 32.5 inches. Engraver's imprint at bottom left, 'W.J. Stone Sc. Washn.' (Upper and lower case as shown). Document affixed to linen backing

Extent

1 items

Biographical / Historical

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.

Physical Location

Oversized case 10, drawer 5

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired in 1941 via the great-granddaughter of the engraver William J. Stone

Physical Description

37.5 x 32.5 inches. Engraver's imprint at bottom left, 'W.J. Stone Sc. Washn.' (Upper and lower case as shown). Document affixed to linen backing

General

The original Stone copper plate, from which various printings were made during the engraver's life, is now preserved in the National Archives.

For further historical context: Several websites and published articles discuss the various facsimile printings of the Declaration of Independence, including the role of William J. Stone.

Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Military Institute Archives Repository

Contact:
VMI Archives
Preston Library
Lexington VA 24450
540-464-7516