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Historic broadside of Declaration of Independence goes for over $2.8 million at auction

A 1776 broadside copy of the Declaration of Independence sold for over $2.8 million this weekend during an auction in Dallas.

The winning bid of $2,895,000 let the buyer take home the first broadside that was printed in Massachusetts nearly 247 years ago to the day, according to auction house Heritage Auctions.

Broadsides were printed bulletins that efficiently delivered information to the general public. They were typically posted in high-traffic areas where most people could see them, and had contents that ranged from advertisements to political commentary.

Only 13 broadsides were printed in July and August of 1776 after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Print shops in Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Massachusetts produced the copies.

The auctioned copy was printed by John Rogers in Salem, at a shop owned by Ezekiel Russell — the same shop where the American Gazette newspaper was printed in 1776.  

Six copies of the broadside sold Saturday still exist. The other one in private hands was sold for $2.1 million at an auction in May 2022.

Four private institutions hold the remaining copies — Harvard University, Georgetown University, the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Peabody Essex Museum.

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