Publishing and Publicizing the Declaration of Independence William Stone's Facsimile

In order to interact with this document, you must have the latest version of the Macromedia Flash Player.

Get Flash now or View this document.

View this document larger

William Stone's Facsimile

This copy of the Declaration of Independence, printed on parchment, is one of 201 produced from William J. Stone's engraving. John Quincy Adams, then Secretary of State, commissioned Stone to create an exact facsimile. The copperplate engraving was completed in 1823.

The State Department purchased the plate and had 200 copies printed. Mr. Stone printed an additional copy for himself. The commissioned copies were distributed to surviving signers, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Charles Carroll, departments of the government, the governors of each state and territory, colleges and universities, various officials past and present, and the Marquis de Lafayette.

Out of the 201 vellum copies originally struck, thirty-one have been located. Since the Epstein gift to Colonial Williamsburg in 2002, twenty are in public institutions:

  • American Philosophical Society
  • Boston Public Library
  • Carroll Foundation
  • Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library
  • Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village
  • Harvard University, Houghton Library
  • Indiana University, Lilly Library
  • Jefferson County Court House, Kentucky
  • Library of Congress [2 copies]
  • Maryland Historical Society
  • Massachusetts Historical Society, Adams Papers [2 copies]
  • New Hampshire Archives [2 copies]
  • New Haven Historical Society
  • New York Public Library
  • Rhode Island State Archives
  • Tennessee State Archives
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Sweet Briar College
  • Virginia State Library Archives
  • The White House

(Coleman, William R. "Counting the Stones -- A Census of the Stone Facsimiles of the Declaration of Independence" Manuscripts, 43(2), 1991, p 103 and Dube, Ann Marie. A Multitude of Amendments, Alterations and Additions, Appendix E, National Park Service, 1996.)

Return to the Publishing the Declaration timeline