Massachusetts Historical Society

Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson
Declaration of Independence, [manuscript copy], 1776
From the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.

Summary description

This manuscript copy of the Declaration of Independence, one of several in Jefferson's hand, represents the Declaration as drafted by the Committee of Five. This copy is comprised of 4 pages; pages 3 and 4 are fragments only. This copy is sometimes referred to as the "Washburn Copy of the Declaration of Independence" since it was given to the Massachusetts Historical Society by Mr. and Mrs. Arthur C. Washburn in 1893. For additional information about this and other copies of the Declaration, please see: The Declaration of Independence: The Evolution of the Text, revised edition, by Julian P. Boyd, edited by Gerard W. Gawalt. (Library of Congress and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, Inc., 1999.)

Physical description

This manuscript copy of the Declaration of Independence is comprised of one sheet, folded. Pages 1-2 measure 8 1/8 x 12 11/16 inches; pages 3-4 (incomplete) measure 8 1/8 x 3 3/16 inches.

Use of the images

Permission to reproduce images of manuscripts and/or publish transcriptions of collections must be obtained in writing from the Massachusetts Historical Society. Please forward requests to the Reference Librarian, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215, or send an email message to:

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