The Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress July 4, 1776, and released to the public that day, signed only by John Hancock, president of the Congress. George Washington received his copy of the Declaration July 9 and had it read at six o'clock that evening with the troops encamped with him on York Island. The engravings and biographical information of this book come from B. J. Lossing's Biographical Sketches of the Signers of the Declaration of American Independence, published in 1848. Spelling and punctuation of the Declaration conform to the original document.
Text of the Declaration of Independence
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