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Did You Know?

Did you know that handwriting had a historical impact on the
development of the United States?

The first official draft of the Declaration of Independence, the most famous handwritten document in American history, was set in type, printed, and distributed to our country’s forefathers at the direction of John Hancock. Although this first printed copy of the Declaration of Independence was the one approved by twelve of the thirteen American colonies on July 4, 1776 (New York later approved the DOI on July 9th), most people think of the official handwritten copy penned by Timothy Matlack, clerk to the Secretary of the Continental Congress.

On July 19, 1776, the Continental Congress ordered that the Declaration be "fairly engrossed on parchment" and signed by every member of Congress. This is testament to the authority that the handwritten document carried. In 1787, the original United States Constitution was similarly inscribed.

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