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Inspired by History

Other Declaration of Independence Offerings

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Other America's Founding Documents Offerings

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Early Self-Censored British Printing of the Declaration of Independence
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“A ____, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a T____, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people”

(words determined offensive to the monarchy removed)
 
British citizens had the opportunity to read in its entirety the most compelling sentence ever written but in other places, they had to fill in the blanks.
[DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE]. Pamphlet. Gentleman's Magazine. London, England, August 1776. Lacking a plate. octavo. Disbound; minimal wear, some pages loose but intact.

Inventory #24128       Price: $3,400

 

A very early British magazine printing of the “Declaration of American Independency,” which appears on pages 361 and 362, signed in type by John Hancock and Charles Thompson.

The British press could use the words "King," "Prince," and "Tyrant". But to keep their heads, they could not safely print those words together. Prior to independence, American protests had been directed at the actions of Parliament, and royal ministers. That all changed with the Declaration of Independence, a substantial part of which is a bill of particular offenses committed by the King against American Freedoms:

"The history of the present ___ of Great Britain, is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations; all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute t___ over these states…."

"...obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither…"

"He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws;

"In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A ___[Prince] , whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a t[yrant] ___, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people"

One can onlt imagine the degree of surprise as Londoners came across the "Declaration of Independency" in their Gentleman's Quarterly. The Declaration is also discussed in a later article entitled an “Account of the Proceedings of the American Colonists” Which asks (and concludes): “Whether those grievances were real or imaginary, or whether they did or did not deserve a parliamentary enquiry, we will not presume to decide. The ball is now struck, and time only can shew where it will rest.”

 

 

 

 

 

This monthly journal of news, science, arts and philosophy give insight into how readers in Great Britain perceived the momentous events occurring in America.  News reports cover most of the major events relating to the American Revolution.


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