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Declaration of Independence Found in Scottish Attic

Updated: Oct 2, 2021

Not the real, original document that's kept at America's Nation Archive Museum, but a copy of the US Declaration of Independence has been discovered in an attic in Scotland - and just been sold at auction for more than £3 million.

The signer’s copy is a representation of the original 1776 document that declared the independence of Britain’s 13 American colonies. It was presented to Charles Carroll of Carrollton, a Founding Father who was one of the signers of the Declaration and later a US senator.

He gave it to his grandson-in-law John MacTavish, a Scottish-Canadian diplomat who lived between 1787 and 1852, and it descended in the Scottish family.

It was discovered in the attic of a Scottish ancestral home by Edinburgh-based auctioneers Lyon & Turnbull, who passed it to their sister auction house, Freeman’s, in the US.

The rare document sold on 1 July for $4,420,000 (£3,210,000), the second highest ever paid at auction for a copy of the Declaration of Independence.


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