Dunlap Broadside - Declaration of Independence - Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Free Time

Philosophers consider independence a “negative” liberty—a “freedom from,” as opposed to a “freedom to.” Of course, in practice, when you’re freer from this, you’re generally freer to that.

Through July 6, one thing you’re free to do is view “one of the 26 known copies of the historic first printing of the Declaration of Independence,” which the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library began displaying yesterday. Though it isn’t handwritten and doesn’t have the flourish-y signatures of the much-celebrated document kept by the National Archives, the Beinecke’s version, dubbed a Dunlap Broadside after the man who printed it, actually precedes that one. It was printed the night of July 4, 1776, while the famous penned version wasn’t even commissioned until July 19.

Timing matters.

Speaking of which, with next week’s Independence Day happening on a pesky Tuesday, we’re taking the holiday today. Enjoy the weekend, and we’ll see you Monday—

—Your friends at Daily Nutmeg—

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