Yesterday (Saturday), Kammi and I ventured forth to the Dallas public library to see a hidden treasure: one of the lost copies of the Declaration of Independence. Not many people know that this copy is on permanent display on the seventh floor. The display is quite plain. We had the place to ourselves– there were no other visitors.
The story goes that Thomas Jefferson (or someone on his behalf) took the Declaration to a printer, Mr. John Dunlap, and ordered copies. How many copies, I don’t know. In any event, only a few copies survive, and Dallas has the only copy in the western United States. This copy was discovered in a used book store in Philadelphia in 1968. You will notice that the printer did not include all the signers’ names, but did include John Hancock, a man of tremendous self-esteem who was no doubt pleased to see his name. Too, perhaps he was nervous that his name and no one else’s was attached. After all, this Independence idea was not a sure thing… and hanging most likely would be a sure thing if the revolution were to fail.