Image courtesy of Historic Annapolis.
American History Buffs Unite! Gather ye patriotism and head to the Maryland State House until November 14, 2021 to catch the exhibit “Founding Freedoms: The Essential American Documents,” sponsored by Historic Annapolis in partnership with philanthropist and Maryland native David M. Rubenstein and the Maryland State Archives.
The Founding Freedoms documents will be on display at the Maryland State House until November 14th, 2021. Image courtesy of Historic Annapolis.
The ‘Founding Freedoms’ exhibit is on display in the rotunda of the Maryland State House, the oldest state capital in continuous legislative use and is the only state house ever to have served as the nation’s capital.
‘Founding Freedoms’ is some of the most important documents in early American history such as printings of the Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, and Bill of Rights, all from Mr. Rubenstein's collection. The exhibit is presented in a historical context alongside the State House's permanent display of George Washington's 1783 Resignation Speech. Together they tell the story of the formation of the United States from the patriotic ideals of the Thirteen Colonies in the Revolutionary War to the democratic principles of the Founding Generation in their creation of our government. In displaying these documents adjacent to the resignation speech, visitors will have the rare opportunity to see, all at once, the four most important founding documents in American history.
Students from Annapolis' Key School participated in a school field trip to see the documents of the Founding Freedoms Exhibit. Image courtesy of Historic Annapolis
“Seeing historic documents in person brings them alive in ways that images online or in a book cannot,” says David M. Rubenstein. “I am hopeful the Founding Freedoms exhibit will attract a range of generations and prompt a fresh appreciation for our great American experiment.”
Examples of the Declaration of Independence include a rare William Stone engraving of the original document in the National Archives. Famous for being the version of the Declaration produced in textbooks instead of the original, this copy was presented by then-Secretary of State John Quincy Adams to Maryland politician Thomas Emory in 1824. Also, included in the exhibition are the first newspaper printing of the Constitution and an early newspaper printing of the Bill of Rights, prior to its ratification, when it included 12 amendments.
Declaration of Independence
The sixth document added to the exhibit is a Declaration of Independence printed in the Pennsylvania Evening Post by Benjamin Towne on Saturday, July 6, 1776. It is the second earliest printing of the Declaration of Independence.
“Seeing historic documents in person brings them alive in ways that images online or in a book cannot,” says David M. Rubenstein. Image courtesy of Historic Annapolis.
“Together, the documents bring to life a pivotal moment in history and provide a tangible connection to the efforts of our nation’s founders to secure rights and freedoms in the earliest moments of American democracy,” says Elaine Rice Bachmann, Maryland State Archivist and Secretary of the State House Trust.