What is the Dunlap Broadside?

What is It?

A Dunlap Broadside is one of the first printed copies of the Declaration of Independence ever produced.

After the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress, a Philadelphia printer named John Dunlap was asked to print copies of the document that would then be sent to all of the colonies, all army units, and some prominent members of society.

Broadside Printing
Dunlap worked through the night on July 4, 1776, printing a poster-sized copy of the Declaration that we now know as the Dunlap Broadside.

It is unknown exactly how many copies were printed that night, but it is estimated that Dunlap printed between 150 and 200 broadsides. Because Exeter was the capital of New Hampshire during the Revolution, one of those broadsides was sent to Exeter, arriving on July 16.

Broadside Reading

It was read aloud in the center of town by John Taylor Gilman, who was just twenty-two years old at the time. Gilman was the son of the state treasurer and lived here in the Ladd-Gilman House.

There are only twenty-six copies of the Dunlap Broadside known to still exist and the American Independence Museum has possession of one of those copies.