This customized five-frame set contains the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution. They are designed to hang on the wall and come with –
- parchment paper
- wood frames (9 ¼" x 14 ¾" each)
- glass panes
They contain the exact same words as the original one- and four-parchment documents, respectively, with no variation at all—same spelling (and occasional misspellings), punctuation, capitalization, etc. They've just been carefully reformatted into a modern font (versus old-style calligraphy) to make them easier to read. They each have the same 56 and 39 signers, respectively, arranged in the same columns as the original documents—they're just italicized names instead of signatures to easily identify who signed them.
The layouts have been stylized to reflect the look of the originals, with all the more calligraphic elements retained in the Declaration of Independence such as in the heading and certain words or phrases, e.g., "united States of America" and "Free and Independent States," and in the Constitution such as in the preamble and closing endorsement, where more ornate lettering was used and made to look darker. Even the last line of each page of the Constitution has been deliberately formatted to correspond to the last line on the original parchment pages.
Declaration of Independence
Written in 1776, the Declaration of Independence has been referred to as the "soul of our country." Without the Declaration of Independence, there is no United States, there is no Constitution. While Thomas Paine greatly influenced public support for independence, the declaration itself was written by Thomas Jefferson, with input from John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and other Continental Congress patriots. It details in fair-minded, inspired prose the long history of abuses and injustices suffered by the American colonies under Great Britain's King George III and why, reluctantly, they could no longer be subject to the British Crown. At the peril of committing treason, 56 courageous men then signed the document.
Decades later, Abraham Lincoln advocated strongly that the principles outlined in the Declaration of Independence should serve as the moral compass by which the Constitution is interpreted.
The Americans won the Revolutionary War, and a promising nation was born. But George Washington soon observed the states seemed bound together by a "rope of sand," and others like Alexander Hamilton agreed. For the battle not to have been in vain, for the new republic's "great experiment" in free self-governance to last, a stronger frame of government was needed. To that end, a group of men gathered for a "Constitutional Convention" in 1787 presided over by Washington and comprised arguably of some of the wisest, most intelligent, educated and experienced statesmen ever assembled. Though imperfect, they shared a common vision and resolve to "form a more perfect union" and understood clearly the magnitude of what needed to be done. James Madison drafted the general framework, and through a series of animated debates, revisions and compromises, a workable document emerged, some say miraculously, in just four months that is our present-day Constitution.