"Declaration of Independence" from the Printing Office of Edes & Gill in Boston from The History List Store
The History List

"Declaration of Independence" from the Printing Office of Edes & Gill in Boston

Regular price $ 27.95

Updated December 4: We are out of the Constitution and have suspended selling bundles that include it until we have a better idea of when we’ll get them.

If you would like to be notified when bundles with the Constitution are offered again, please send us a note.

— Lee Wright  |  Founder  |  The History List  |  History Camp


The print is from the Printing Office of Edes & Gill in Boston. You can purchase the Declaration, described below, or the Declaration and the Constitution, which is also printed at Edes & Gill, at a savings of $5 for the pair.


 

You can watch the Declaration being printed in the longer video below.

We are able to make these available through special arrangement. Each one is printed by hand on a historic press by a good friend of mine who founded and operates the printing office. More information on the history behind this printing appears below.

The print is about 20" x 14". (There is a variance of 1/4" to 1/2" depending on how the paper is cut.)  As was the case with the original broadsides, there is variability in ink coverage.  As a result, you should not expect the same crisp, consistent ink coverage that we are used to with material printed on modern presses. To get a better idea of why some of these differences occur, watch the video above.

The Philadelphia broadside of the Declaration printed by John Dunlap is also available, as is the Baltimore broadside printed by Mary Katherine Goddard. Use the pull down menu above to purchase all three and save $8.

You can also purchase a copy of the Boston broadside of the Constitution before it was ratified. The print includes a letter from Washington urging ratification. Photos and an in-depth video explaining the five-year-long effort to find and reproduce this broadside are on the product page. If you purchase them both together, you save $5 over buying them separately.

— Lee Wright  |  Founder  |  The History List  |  History Camp


 Watch the Declaration being printed

This longer video (6:18) shows the printing of the Declaration and includes additional information on the history of the Declaration and of printing.


 About Benjamin Edes & John Gill

On April 7, 1755, Edes and Gill became the proprietors of The Boston Gazette and Country Journal. According to the author of Infamous Scribblers (2006), the Boston Gazette, arguably the most influential newspaper the country has ever known, got us into the Revolutionary War, sped up the course of the war and may have even determined the outcome of the war.

The Declaration of Independence

"The Declaration of Independence is the founding document of The United States of America. Written by Thomas Jefferson, (one of the five members of the Committee that Congress had appointed to draft the document. Other members being: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Livingston and Roger Sherman) between June 11th and June 28th 1776.

Congress voted for Independency on July 2nd and then took up Jefferson’s draft for the next two days. Eighty-six alterations were made to the draft and congress approved the document on July 4th, 1776.

Congress then ordered the committee that drafted the Declaration to oversee the printing of the Declaration. A fair copy was made of the amended draft and hand carried by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin to the printing office of John Dunlap in Philadelphia on the afternoon of the 4th. The Declaration was printed that night into the early morning of July 5th. John Hancock, President of Congress began to send out “official copies” on the 5th and 6th of July to all thirteen Colonies, ordering them to print the Declaration in their newspapers and generally distribute the news as they saw fit.

The first printing of the Declaration in Boston

The “official” copy of the Declaration arrived about July 15th in Boston. The patriot printer John Gill set it in type on the 16th and printed on the 17th ready for distribution on the 18th of July. On the 18th, the Declaration was read from the balcony of the Old State House for the first time. Large crowds gathered to hear the address.

Just two editions of the Boston Printing of the Declaration broadside were published by Gill and then it disappeared from history. Only three copies from this John Gill edition have survived. In June 2009 Christie's auctioned a rare Boston imprint of the Declaration.

One original copy was located in the collection of the Bostonian Society by Gary Gregory, founder and Shop Master of the recreated Edes & Gill. Gary then had all 9.000 characters of type meticulously cast in lead to match the original document.

This recreation was first printed by the Printing Office of Edes and Gill on July 3rd 2012, marking the first time since July 1776 that anyone had printed the Boston Broadside of the Declaration of Independence.
 
This print was printed by hand on the Wooden Common Press using 100% Cotton Linen, Very-Fine Crane paper in the Printing Office of Edes & Gill.

 

 

 

The Printing Office of Edes & Gill is non-profit 50(c)3 corporation funded entirely by donations, gifts, and the sale of materials printed on their historic press. A portion of the proceeds of this sale will go to them.  

Source: The Printing Office of Edes & Gill

In July of 2018 Gary moved his printing office into Faneuil Hall, and he immediately started drawing a crowd.

Additional resources

  • Details in this listing at Christie's about specific printings and the way in which the document was distributed to major cities. As mentioned above, this was in 2009 and it was the first Boston and tenth broadside edition of the Declaration. It sold for $722,500.
  • Describing the original printing of this broadside and the reproduction, from the Declaration Resources Project at Harvard.
  • The Library of Congress's site on the Declaration, with links to additional resources.

 

 

Customer Reviews

Based on 31 reviews
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J
J.B.
A Beautiful Piece of American History

This will be framed and hung on my library wall. Well worth the money if you are a history buff at all. My copy came with a fingerprint smudge on the bottom, obviously where the printer pulled the paper off the press. I think that smudge only adds to the "authenticity" of the copy. In my youth I worked in a print shop that still did some letterpress work and had the opportunity to use a "proof press" that was only a little less primitive than the one used to print this copy. Memories.

E
E.T.
In search of the "printer's devil"

I live in an historic village dating from 1820. Our print shop and collection of presses date to 1839.
During the Civil War, "The Washington Telegram" was the only newspaper in the state to
proceed without interruption. As a self-proclaimed collector of ephemera, finding The History List
was a grand discovery. The product I received from you is exceptional. The type is indented into the
quality paper and reflective of a true manual press and its pressure. As a fan of Thomas Jefferson,
the Declaration carries even more impact. Thank you for providing such an exceptional historical
document that impacts the lives of all Americans.

D
D.D.
Really nice

I got the Declaration of Indepence quickly and of really nice quality. I had it framed and matted and it would be completely appropriate from the President of the United State's Office to a Patriots home. Very nice quality.

T
T.J.
So great they are doing this!

Great quality print - you can even see where the letters are pressed into the paper! It's really like you are back in 1776 and getting this straight off the presses, almost like getting an old newspaper for the first time from almost 250 years ago. Allows you to feel like you are living in that time, receiving that copy like it was sent out back in that time (only 14 signed copies exist: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/07/01/rare-copy-declaration-independence-display-july/813mcmlMXgxf0Kqj26jdsI/story.html ). This is not a signed copy - you get it like it is literally straight off the presses. It is a large piece of paper - didn't measure it, but probably about 1.5-2 feet long, maybe 1.25 feet across. Comes with a postcard of authenticity from The History List. I plan to get it framed and put it on my wall! Great for history teachers or just history buffs in general, like me. I love that they're ensuring they can print these and save them for posterity - the more that exist, the better chance these survive 100s of years into the future - I hope many will get their own copy so this timeless document will survive well into the future.

M
M.L.
Shipping/DoIndependence copy

Great document and shipped quickly.

Size Chest Body Length Sleeve Length
Small 19 28 9.25
Medium 20.5 29 9.5
Large 22 30 9.75
XL 23.5 31 10
2XL 25 32 10.25
3XL 28 33 10.5

Measurement Notes:
Sleeve length measured from shoulder edge.

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.

Short-sleeves

Size Chest Body Length Sleeve Length
Small 38 28 9.25
Medium 41 29 9.5
Large 44 30 9.75
XL 47 31 10
2XL 50 32 10.25
3XL 56 33 10.5

 Long-sleeves

Size Chest Body Length
Small 38 28
Medium 41 29
Large 44 30
XL 48 31
2XL 52 32

Measurement Notes:
Sleeve length measured from shoulder edge.

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.

Size Chest Body Length Sleeve Length
Small 20 26.5 24.38
Medium 22 27.5 24.63
Large 24 28.5 24.25
XL 26 29.5 24
2XL 28 30 23.75
3XL 30 30.5 23.5

Measurement Notes:
Sleeve length measured from shoulder edge.

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.

Size Chest Body Length Sleeve Length
Small 15.75 26.5 6.38
Medium 16.75 27 6.63
Large 17.75 27.5 6.88
XL 19.25 28 7.13
2XL 20.75 28.5 7.38

Measurement Notes:
Sleeve length measured from shoulder edge.

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.

Size Body Width Body Length
XS 15.6 26.5
Small 16.1 26.75
Medium 17.25 27.25
Large 18.38 27.88
XL 19.88 28.5
2XL 21.38 29.13

 

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.

Size Chest Body Length Sleeve Length
Small 19 28 9.25
Medium 20.5 29 9.5
Large 22 30 9.75
XL 24 31 10
2XL 26 32 10.25
3XL 28 33 10.5

Measurement Notes:
Sleeve length measured from shoulder edge.

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.

Size Chest Body Length Sleeve Length
XS 14 19 6.5
Small 15.5 20.5 6.75
Medium 17 22 7
Large 18.5 23.5 7.25
XL 20 25 7.5

Measurement Notes:
Sleeve length measured from shoulder edge.

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.

Size Chest Body Length Sleeve Length
Small 18 28 8.13
Medium 20 29 8.38
Large 22 30 8.63
XL 24 31 8.88
2XL 26 33 9.63
3XL 28 34 10.13
4XL 30 35 10.63
5XL 32 36 11.13
6XL 34 37 9.75

Measurement Notes:
Sleeve length measured from shoulder edge.

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.

Size Body Width Body Length
XS 12.5 23.5
Small 13.5 24
Medium 15.5 25
Large 17.5 26
XL 19.5 27
2XL 21.5 28

 

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.

Size Chest Body Length Sleeve Length
Small 16.5 26.5 24.625
Medium 17.5 27 25
Large 18.5 27.5 25.375
XL 20 28 25.75
2XL 21.5 28.5 26.5

Measurement Notes:
Sleeve length measured from shoulder edge.

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.

Size Chest Body Length Sleeve Length
XS 11.5 19 3.75
Small 12.5 20 4
Medium 13.5 21 4.25
Large 15 23 4.5
XL 16.5 25 4.75

Measurement Notes:
Sleeve length measured from shoulder edge.

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.