The Signing of the Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull.
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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The document, which belonged to James Madison, is one of 200 facsimiles commissioned in the 19th century
From the Smithsonian Magagine.
Within 40 years of its signing in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was starting to show signs of aging and wear. So in 1820, John Quincy Adams commissioned printer William Stone to make 200 facsimiles of the precious document. As Michael E. Ruane reports for the Washington Post, one of these meticulous copies, long believed to have been lost, recently resurfaced in Texas.