Gilcrease Museum Displays Handwritten Copy Of Declaration Of Independence

Saturday, July 4th 2015, 3:33 pm
By: News On 6

It’s a rare opportunity to see a piece of American history.

Over the holiday weekend, the Gilcrease Museum will be displaying one of its greatest treasures, a handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence.

This will be the first time the Declaration will be on public display since researchers discovered in March 2014 that Silas Deane, member of the Continental Congress, had penned the museum's handwritten copy. The document has been locked away in the Hardesty Archival Center inside the new Helmerich Center for American Research; available to the rest of us, occasionally, as part of special exhibitions.

The last time the museum's certified copy of the Declaration of Independence was exhibited was in June 2010.

"Only known surviving hand written copy, certified copy of the Declaration of Independence," the museum’s Mark Dolph told News On 6 in January. "Scribes write out these copies. We need to use them as diplomatic instruments."

It was signed by President of the Congress, John Hancock, and this one additionally by Benjamin Franklin and Silas Deane; the diplomats who carried it to France and eventually to Frederick the Great of Prussia.

Museum founder Thomas Gilcrease bought the copy in 1950 from a book seller in New York City.

The exhibit is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. It is available through Sunday, July 5.