Benjamin Towne’s Pennsylvania Evening Post was the first newspaper to print the Declaration of Independence. That was on Saturday July 6, 1776. And, now this publication goes under the hammer as a part of Robert A. Siegel Galleries’ 50th annual Rarities of the World event, scheduled for June 25.
This historic document is also the second publication in any form and the first to closely follow Thomas Jefferson’s style. It was preceded only by the broadside that went to John Dunlap’s press on July 4 (published on July 5), and beat Dunlap’s own newspaper, The Pennsylvania Packet, by two days.
A rare first newspaper printing of the Declaration of Independence is expected to sell for $500,000 to $750,000, plus a 15% auction buyer’s fee.
“Declaration issues of The Pennsylvania Evening Post are rare,” Kaller said. “This is one of only four copies we have found recorded on the market in at least the last 50 years, three of which we’ve had the privilege of selling.”
The Pennsylvania Evening Post was distributed far and wide, even by members of the Continental Congress. “I have this Moment folded up a Magazine, and an Evening Post,” John Adams wrote to Abigail on July 7, “and sent it off, by an Express, who could not wait for me to write a single Line.” As witnessed by Adams, this rare paper reflects the experience of everyday Americans as they read news of independence for the first time during that momentous July of 1776.