July 11, 2006
Stone Declaration Of Independence Poster Commemorates Nation's Founding For Classrooms
Colonial Williamsburg’s Education Outreach Department has produced a poster of the Stone Declaration of Independence. Based on an original document held in the Special Collections section of the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, the poster is the first of its kind to be released by the division. Packaged with accompanying instructional materials, the innovative product is expected to help teachers relate the Declaration to students in an easy and engaging manner.
After years of neglect following its signing, the original Declaration of Independence was in a state of disrepair. In 1820, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams wanted to put an end to a dispute among several engravers who were claiming they had the most authentic version of the Declaration and hired engraver William J. Stone to create copies that would preserve the treasured document for future generations. Of the 200 copies that were produced, only 31 are known to survive. Colonial Williamsburg acquired a copy of the Stone Declaration thanks to a generous gift by Pat and Jerry Epstein of Los Angeles.
“This is the first of what we hope will be a series of posters featuring founding documents or other significant primary sources,” educational media editor Jodi Norman said. “Thanks to the Epsteins’ donation and enthusiastic support, the Stone Declaration of Independence poster now is available to classrooms across the United States.”
Created to retain the original dimensions and quality of the Stone Declaration of Independence, the 27 x 35-inch poster can be easily framed for display. Accompanying teaching materials include a description of the political and cultural background of the Declaration of Independence, a succinct description of the meaning of the Declaration and a list of suggested classroom activities. The student activities range from elementary level projects encouraging students to write poems about the Declaration to secondary level exercises prompting students to investigate the lives of the Declaration’s signers.
Posters illustrating Stone’s work and the Founding Fathers’ masterpiece are available to teachers and other interested individuals for $9.95. The posters can be ordered by calling 1-800-761-8331 weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or through the Teaching Resources Catalog, which can be accessed online at http://www.history.org/history/teaching/objects_sale.cfm.