Release Date: December, 1971 [EBook #1]
[Most recently updated: November 25, 2004]
Character set encoding: ASCII
The United States Declaration of Independence was the first Etext released by Project Gutenberg, early in 1971. The title was stored in an emailed instruction set which required a tape or diskpack be hand mounted for retrieval. The diskpack was the size of a large cake in a cake carrier, cost $1500, and contained 5 megabytes, of which this file took 1-2%. Two tape backups were kept plus one on paper tape. The 10,000 files we hope to have online by the end of 2001 should take about 1-2% of a comparably priced drive in 2001.
This file was never copyrighted, Sharewared, etc., and is thus for all to use and copy in any manner they choose. Please feel free to make your own edition using this as a base.
In my research for creating this transcription of our first Etext, I have come across enough discrepancies [even within that official documentation provided by the United States] to conclude that even “facsimiles” of the Declaration of Indendence will not going to be all the same as the original, nor of other “facsimiles.” There is a plethora of variations in capitalization, punctuation, and, even where names appear on the documents [which names I have left out].
The resulting document has several misspellings removed from those parchment “facsimiles” I used back in 1971, and which I should not be able to easily find at this time, including “Brittain.”
[JT, Apr 05: “Brittish”, however, is spelled as in the original.]
**The Project Gutenberg Etext of The Declaration of Independence**
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right