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Congress authorized Goddard to produce this copy of the Declaration of Independence. It was the first typeset copy to include the names of signers who attested, “. . . for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of DIVINE PROVIDENCE, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honour.”

Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress

Congress authorized Goddard to produce this copy of the Declaration of Independence. It was the first typeset copy to include the names of signers who attested, “. . . for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of DIVINE PROVIDENCE, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honour.”

Uniting for Revolution

Fighting between British troops and colonial militia began in April 1775, but the country remained divided on the issue of independence. When it became clear to the Second Continental Congress that a resolution for independence proposed in May 1776 could pass, Congress created the Committee of Five to draft the document that would declare to the world why the United Colonies separated from Great Britain. Primarily written by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776.