Rare printing of Declaration of Independence goes on display in Philly

Mike DeNardo
June 18, 2019 - 6:00 am
A rare copy of the Declaration of Independence is going on display Tuesday at the Museum of the American Revolution.

Holli Stephens/KYW Newsradio

Categories: 

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A rare copy of the Declaration of Independence is going on display Tuesday at the Museum of the American Revolution. 

It was a goose bump moment for Holly Kinyon when the 1776 broadside printing of the Declaration of Independence was removed from its protective box in the basement of the Museum of the American Revolution on Monday.   

"It's hard to describe how much this means to me and to my family," Kinyon said. 

Kinyon, who's 59 and from Malibu, is a direct descendant of declaration signer John Witherspoon.  

She bought the broadside at auction in 2017 for a reported $1.5 million. 

"I didn't think the chance would come again in my lifetime to be able to connect our Witherspoon lineage with the actual declaration," she said. 

And yes, Reese Witherspoon is also a descendant.   

Kinyon is loaning the document to the museum. 

"I think it's important for everyone to be able to see documents of this nature. And just to be able to share it is an amazing privilege for me," she explained. 

A rare copy of the Declaration of Independence is going on display Tuesday at the Museum of the American Revolution.
Holli Stephens/KYW Newsradio

Museum president Scott Stephenson says this is one of only five known copies of the declaration by New York newspaper publisher and printer John Holt. 

"There's maybe a dozen copies of the Philadelphia printing by (John) Dunlap. There are only five copies of this New York printing by John Holt. This was only the fifth one that's ever come to light. So many of them, I think, were probably loved to death," Stephenson said. 

The broadside will be on display until the end of the year.