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National Archives

Press Release

Freedom's Journey Comes To Texas

For Release: August 14, 2002
College Station, TX -

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…"

Democratic people all over the world treasure these impassioned words and recognize them as the cornerstone of the United States Declaration of Independence. Beginning August 14, the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum will bring the revolutionary document to the Brazos Valley as the centerpiece of an exhibition entitled Freedom's Journey.

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress, led by John Hancock, approved Thomas Jefferson's text of the Declaration. The manuscript was rushed to the shop of Philadelphia printer John Dunlap, where he typeset the document and created 200 broadsides (colonial era posters) of the text. Copies of the freshly drafted Declaration of Independence, called "Dunlap broadsides," were carried by riders on horseback throughout the colonies, read aloud to large groups and printed in 24 colonial newspapers. Now residents and visitors of the Brazos Valley will have the unique opportunity to view one of only 25 remaining copies of our national birth certificate.

Freedom's Journey features a myriad of written records, portraits and artifacts, all of which trace the ideals of republican government back to its historical roots. The items on display recount the powerful story of America's tireless struggle to become a nation of liberty. The ultimate representation of this epic struggle and the significance behind our forefathers' efforts lie in powerful proclamations of the Declaration of Independence.

Freedom's Journey will take visitors from the Boston Massacre and Boston Tea Party to the grim days of Valley Forge and beyond through displays of documents, period weapons, engravings, paintings, and replica uniforms and flags.

Included in the exhibit's collection are: a 1749 entry from Ben Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanack, the last remaining original announcement of the Boston Tea Party, a 1776 edition of Thomas Paine's Common Sense, the sash worn by John Hancock in the Revolutionary War and a broadside copy of the 1836 Republic of Texas Declaration of Independence.

Freedom's Journey will remain on display until January 5, 2003. It is the latest in a series of exhibits featured at the Bush Museum to focus on the legacy of American politics. Previous exhibits include Stripes and Stars, The White House in Miniature and Fathers and Sons.

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
1000 George Bush Drive West, College Station, Texas 77845
Telephone: (979) 691-4000 | Facsimile: (979) 691-4050 | TTY: (979) 691-4091