Arago: Exhibits

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Declaration of Independence

United States Master Collection, Scott 1694a

The 13-cent Declaration of Independence se-tenant stamps were issued July 4, 1976. (Scott 1694a)

18c Declaration of Independence sheet of 5

The 18-cent Declaration of Independence souvenir sheet of five stamps was issued May 29, 1976. (Scott 1687)

The adoption by the Continental Congress of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 brought the separate American colonies together under the newly formed entity, The United States of America and uniformly declared independence from British rule. The Declaration presented a list of grievances with the British crown and stated in unforgettable language the philosophical arguments for independence. Even after the Declaration was adopted, however, the population was far from unified. An estimated 20 percent of the populace was still loyal to the British crown, while a great percentage of the remaining population was dedicated to neither the Patriot nor the Loyalist cause.

The souvenir sheet (shown at top right) issued in 1976, portrays the 1817 painting by John Trumbull featuring the five person drafting committee for the Declaration of Independence on June 28, 1776. The committee included Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, John Adams and Robert Livingston. The 13-cent se-tenant strip of stamps at top left depict the complete version of Trumbull's painting.