The John Dunlap Broadside is the first printed edition of the American Declaration of Independence. The broadside was printed in the evening of July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, by John Dunlap, newspaper publisher, and later publisher for the Continental Congress. There are 21 copies and fragments of the broadside extant, mostly in public collections.
The largest copy of the broadside measures about 16 x 20 in, though most of the copies have considerable losses or cropping to the margins. The text reads the same, with minor typographical errors, as the manuscript Declaration. The signatures are not listed, but instead, the following is printed:
Signed by Order and in Behalf of the Congress,
John Hancock, President.
Charles Thomson, Secretary
Philadelphia: Printed by John Dunlap.
Seventeen of the copies were studied and exhibited at the Library of Congress, in 1776. The John Dunlap Broadside - The First Printing of the Declaration of Independence, published in conjunction, details the different states of the printing, the paper used, and the known history behind each of the copies.
Copies of the John Dunlap Broadside are in the following collections:
There are also four copies in private collections.
Goff, Fredrick R. The John Dunlap Broadside