Dunlap Broadsides

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On July 5, 1776 John Dunlap delivered to the Continental Congress 200 copies of the text of the Declaration of Independence. Twenty-five of these documents survive, historians calling them the Dunlap broadsides. In the American Revolution, one of the battlegrounds was for public opinion, and the broadsides were immediately sent off throughout the 13 new states, to spread the news of the Declaration. Readings of the Declaration were major events, and local papers eagerly reprinted the text of the Declaration. News of the Declaration reached far off Georgia on August 10, 1776, the same day on which newspaper accounts were published in Britain mentioning the Declaration.

An immigrant from Ireland, Dunlap became wealthy as a printer. Serving in the First Troop of the Philadelphia City Cavalry, he fought in the Trenton-Princeton campaign. Retiring to a large estate in 1795, he passed away in 1812. The most recent selling of a Dunlap Broadside brought in a winning bid of eight million dollars.

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