July 1776 Broadside of Declaration of Independence Sells for $2,895,000
Two hundred forty-seven years after its creation almost to the day, the first broadside edition of the Declaration of Independence printed in Massachusetts has been sold at Heritage Auctions for $2,895,000.
One of only 13 broadside editions printed between July and August 1776, each originated in print shops scattered across six states: Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Massachusetts. John Rogers printed this auction’s example in Salem, at the shop owned by Ezekiel Russell, from which The American Gazette was published in 1776.
There are only six recorded copies of this historic broadside. The Declaration that sold at the weekend is just one of two in private hands and once belonged to Philip David Sang who famously collected and studied 18th- and 19th-century American manuscripts often loaned to or donated to universities, museums and libraries nationwide. The other survivors reside at Harvard University, Georgetown University, the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Peabody Essex Museum. This is the only Declaration broadside printed in four columns.
Other highlights of the Historical Platinum included:
- President Abraham Lincoln’s April 1861 proclamation authorizing the Union blockade of the Confederacy’s ports which realized $471,000
- a first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone that sold for $103,125
- a broadside offering a $50,000 reward for the apprehension of John Wilkes Booth, perhaps the most infamous reward poster in American history, went for $187,500
- a missive written and signed by President George Washington made $175,000, partly because of its recipient, George Mason, the Founding Father who preached individual liberties as a delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787
- one of the first public printings of the Bill of Rights realized $106,250