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Setting the Declaration of Independence Record Straight

David Rubenstein, CEO and founder of The Carlyle Group, will have extra reason to celebrate tomorrow. Via auction late last month, he is the proud new owner of one of only four known original hard copies of the July 6, 1776 edition of the Pennsylvania Evening Post that featured the first full printing of the Declaration of Independence.

Rubenstein paid $632,500 for the artifact. A rep for the auction house told FishbowlNY no public display plans have been yet determined. The rep also educated us as to why we all should have perhaps been celebrating yesterday:

“The Continental Congress actually declared independence on July 2, but it took another two days for the complete text of the Declaration to be approved.”

“The announcement of independence was first published that same day in the Pennsylvania Evening Post, via brief notice on page four: “This day the CONTINENTAL CONGRESS declared the UNITED COLONIES FREE and INDEPENDENT STATES.” There were also advertisements on the page for a runaway Irish servant, runaway slaves, a runaway “bought apprentice lad” shoemaker, and sales of rum and a ship.”

What Rubenstein bought is the first full publication of the text of the Declaration of Independence, in the July 6 editions of the same newspaper. Have a great holiday everyone!

[Photo courtesy Seth Kaller Inc.]

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