In Congress, July 4, 1776. The unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of America.
A copy of the Declaration of Independence that is one of two that once belonged to Charles Carroll of Carrollton, signer of the original document and first United States senator from the state of Maryland. By 1820, the original Declaration of Independence had been damaged by use and environmental factors, so Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, via congressional resolution, commissioned William J. Stone to create an exact copy of it and provide two copies to every surviving signer of the original. Engraved on a copper plate over a three-year period and printed on vellum, Stone printed 201 copies in 1823. Carroll gifted this particular copy to his grand-son-in-law John MacTavish, husband of Emily Caton, who was the youngest daughter of Mary (Carroll) and Richard Caton. At the bottom left corner of this copy is a hand-written note by Carroll himself that reads, “Presented to his friend John MacTavish, Esq. by the only surviving signer of this important state paper exactly half a century after having affixed his name to the original document. Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Doughoregan Manor, 1826 August second.”