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A different Declaration of Independence for Minnesota

According to MPR, Minnesota will get a look at a 1776 version of the Declaration of Independence as part of the state’s Sesquicentennial celebration. But it’s not the version you’re used to: it’s a so-called “Dunlap broadside” set in type rather than written in script. It was the “working version” circulated in public. Here’s what it looks like:

DunlapBroadsideConstitution.jpg

Click to enlarge

Courtesy of the Yale University Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

 

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie arranged for the document to come here; I talked to him about it last fall and he told me that he was pursuing Norman Lear’s copy. (Lear is the famed producer of TV shows such as “All in the Family.”) This particular document has a cool back story: only 24 broadsides were known to exist, but in 1989, a flea market shopper found the 25th in a torn painting lining. The shopper had spent four bucks on the painting; Lear later paid $8.14 million for it. You can see it beginning May 6.

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