1841 DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, Ornate and Complex Decorative Engraving by D. Kimberly, published by Franklin Printing Co. in Boston, after John Trumbull’s Painting, with Signer’s facsimile signatures, State Seals and Portraits of Presidents through William Henry Harrison, and Signer’s Identification Chart, Very Fine.
A scarce original Ornate Engraving by D. Kimberly, published by Franklin Printing Co. in Boston, 1841, featuring the full text of the Declaration of Independence with facsimile signatures of its signers, below the image of John Trumbull famous painting of the first presentation of the drafted document. Printed on heavy wove paper cardstock, measuring 12.25” x 10”, evenly toned with some trivial scattered stains and a pinhole from prior posting at the top. The border features all state seals and portraits of Presidents through William Henry Harrison. Signed in brown ink in the bottom margin: “Morgan Wright - November 15, 1843.” By the early 19th century, the generation after the one which had fought for independence was maturing, and, having been born after the war, many had never seen the full text of the Declaration of Independence. America had also just fought the "Second Revolution" (War of 1812). The perception of the Declaration was changing, from an instrument declaring separation from Britain, to a symbol of American nationalism.
A number of engravers and printers began preparing their interpretations of the document. In particular, the versions published by Benjamin Tyler, who employed script text and accurate facsimiles of the signatures, and John Binns, who produced this ornamental version which embodied other symbols of nationalism along with the Declaration. Tyler cut his price when Binns announced his intent to publish this broadside, so in response, Binns sought government recognition.
Shortly after this, however, Adams commissioned William J. Stone to produce an exact copy, to serve as the official government instrument, thus leaving Binns "high and dry." Most copies of the Declaration seen today are derived from the Stone engraving, and the Binns and Tyler versions are relatively difficult to obtain. Bidwell 3.
This is an original antique 1841 Declaration of Independence decorative engraving. The engraved area of the print measures 9" x 12" and shows an engraving of the Declaration of Independence along with a representation of Trumbull's painting of the first reading of the Declaration along with facsimile signatures of the signers.
State seals and portraits of all the presidents through William Henry Harrison are printed in the ornamental border around the edge. The lower margin indicates “Engraved by D. Kimberly” and “The Lettering of J.B. Bolton”. Also printed in the lower margin is an 1841 copyright by the Franklin Print Co. of Boston. Printing in the ornamental border at the bottom indicates “Published by the FRANKLIN PRINT CO., No. 30 Joy’s Building, Boston”.