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Historical Background

Biographical Sketches

Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings

Text and History of Declaration

Suggested Reading

Signers of the Declaration
Suggested Reading

BECKER, CARL L. The Declaration of Independence: A Study in the History of Political Ideas. New York: rev. ed., Harcourt, Brace, 1942. A classic and scholarly study, originally published in 1922, that analyzes the Declaration in terms of its political background, philosophical origins, and literary merit, and discusses subsequent reaction to it.

BOYD, JULIAN P. The Declaration of Independence: The Evolution of the Text as Shown in Facsimiles of Various Drafts by Its Author, Thomas Jefferson. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1945. This valuable work is a revised edition of a study published by the Library of Congress in 1943 in connection with the bicentennial celebration of Jefferson's birth. Examines the nature and evolution of the various drafts.

BURNETT, EDMUND C. The Continental Congress. New York: Macmillan, 1941. Although written in a cumbersome style, this book remains one of the best on its subject. Includes chapters dealing with the events surrounding adoption of the Declaration.

DUMBAULD, EDWARD. The Declaration of Independence and What It Means Today. Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 1950. Phrase-by-phrase study of the contents of the document and differences in the several drafts. Also treats the underlying intellectual and political influences.

MALONE, DUMAS. The Story of the Declaration of Independence. New York: Oxford University Press, 1954. Enhancing this readable account of the early phases of the Revolution and biographical sketches of the signers is a fine collection of illustrations assembled by Hirst Milhollen and Milton Kaplan.

McGEE, DOROTHY H. Famous Signers of the Declaration. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1955. One of a series oriented to young readers, this volume presents biographies of selected signers.

NATIONAL ARCHIVES. The Formation of the Union. Washington: National Archives and Records Service (Pub. No. 70-13), 1970. A handsome but moderately priced brochure that consists of a brief history of the period 1774-91 and facsimiles of key documents.

WHITNEY, DAVID C. Founders of Freedom in America: Lives of the Men Who Signed the Declaration of Independence and So Helped to Establish the United States of America. Chicago: J. G. Ferguson, 1964. This superbly illustrated work is one of the best popular versions of the events of the Revolutionary period and those associated with the signing. Includes biographies of the signers and patriots Patrick Henry and James Otis.

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Last Updated: 04-Jul-2004