A previously unknown copy of the Declaration on Independence has been unearthed in Sussex, UK.
It’s one of only two handwritten copies on parchment, the other being the 1776 original.
The hugely significant document was discovered in the West Sussex Record Office by members of Harvard’s Declaration Resources Project.
The historic document was found in the West Sussex Record Office
One of the finders, Professor Danielle Allen, told university newspaper The Harvard Crimson: “No one has ever been aware of its existence.
“From the point of view of thinking about American history, it's significant.”
The document is written on parchment believed to have been drawn up a decade after the original Declaration.
The copy appears to have been made in order to lay to rest a long-running political argument on where US sovereignty lay.
In order to illustrate their point, the transcriber has moved the signatures – which in the original are grouped by state.
The team behind the find suggest “this detail supported efforts, made by Wilson and his allies during the Constitutional Convention and ratification process, to argue that the authority of the Declaration rested on a unitary national people, and not on a federation of states.”
It’s unclear how the document arrived in the UK.
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