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Declaration of Independence. In Congress, July 4, 1776, a Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress Assembled.
This document is the first printed version of the American Declaration of Independence. On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia introduced a resolution urging Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, to declare independence from Great Britain. Four days later, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston were appointed as a committee to draft a declaration of independence. The committee’s draft was read in Congress on June 28. On July 4, Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, containing a list of grievances against the British ...
Topographical Notes on Notable Places Visited by Her Imperial Majesty in Belarusian Vicegerencies
This book, published in Saint Petersburg in 1780 by the Russian Imperial Academy of Science, is about the history of and conditions in the eastern Belarusian lands visited by the Empress Catherine (the Great) in May of that year. The work includes detailed information about localities in the Polotsk and Mogil'ov territory (namestnichestva), including the population and descriptions of castles, palaces, churches, and monasteries. Descriptions of places in Belarus start on page 38. The book also contains information about places along the route from Saint Petersburg to Belarus, such ...
The Precious Book on Noteworthy Dates
This short work, entitled Kitāb al-yawāqīt fī ma‘rifat al-mawāqīt, and copied by an anonymous scribe in Shawwāl in June-July 1775 (AH 1168), is attributed to Ḥusayn (or Ḥasan) b. Zayd b. ‘Alī al-Jaḥḥāf, who is said to have dedicated it to Abū ‘Alī Manṣūr al-Ḥākim bi Amr-Allāh, the sixth Fāṭimid ruler (died 996). The manuscript lists the 12 months of the year, each on one sheet, in the form of an almanac. The last page is a one-page guide to the interpretation of dreams, reportedly prepared at the behest ...
A Summary View of the Rights of British America: Set Forth in Some Resolutions Intended for the Inspection of the Present Delegates of the People of Virginia, Now in Convention / by a Native, and Member of the House of Burgesses
This pamphlet is Thomas Jefferson’s personal copy of A Summary View of the Rights of British America, which he originally drafted in July 1774 as a set of instructions for the Virginia delegates to the first Continental Congress. Jefferson argued that the British Parliament had no rights to govern the colonies, which he claimed had been independent since their founding. He also described the usurpations of power and deviations from law committed by King George III and Parliament. Jefferson was not present in the Virginia House when his draft ...
Album of Appreciation of the Fragrance of Spring
Takuhanga is a printing technique in which a cloth-covered cotton ball containing black ink is patted on wet paper placed on an intaglio-engraved woodblock. The technique derives from takuhon, the art of rubbing found in Chinese copybooks printed from the works of old masters of calligraphy. This late-18th-century takuhanga album includes poems in the Chinese style celebrating the spring scenery of Kyoto written by learned men from the city who were students of Chinese literature, including Iwagaki Ryūkei (1741−1808). The drawings are by prominent Kyoto artists from the time ...
Edict Prohibiting Traveling Shows Throughout Tuscany
This edict, dated February 1, 1780, was promulgated by Domenico Brichieri Colombi, fiscal auditor of the city of Florence, in execution of orders issued by Pietro Leopoldo of Lorraine, Grand Duke of Tuscany (reigned 1765−90). It prohibited public performances by traveling entertainers so as not to give to the people “opportunities to dissipate themselves vainly.” The edict applied to “Charlatans, Cantimbanchi [street singers], Storytellers, Puppeteers, Peddlers, Jugglers, and all those who carry on freak shows, exhibit Machines, Animals, or who sell secrets, and to any other foreigner who goes ...
Map of the New Discoveries in the Eastern Ocean
This Russian map of 1781 depicts parts of eastern Siberia and the northwestern part of the North American continent, including places reached by the Russians Mikhail Gvozdev and Ivan Sind, the English explorer Captain James Cook, and others. In 1732, the expedition led by Gvozdev and the navigator Ivan Fedorov crossed the Bering Strait between Asia and America, discovered the Diomede Islands, and approached Alaska in the vicinity of Cape Prince of Wales. The expedition landed on the shore of the North American mainland, marked on the map as the ...
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Tobias Conrad Lotter (1717-77) was a publisher of maps in Augsburg, Germany. He inherited the family mapmaking business from his father-in-law, Matthias Seutter. Lotter published atlases and numerous sheet maps, including this 1770 Latin map of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. At the height of its power in the 14th-16th centuries, the Grand Duchy comprised the territories of present-day Lithuania, Belarus, and western Ukraine. In the late 16th century, Lithuania came under the increasing influence of Poland. In 1569 the two countries united to form the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. As shown ...
A New Map of Nova Scotia, and Cape Breton Island: With the Adjacent Parts of New England and Canada, Composed from a Great Number of Actual Surveys; and Other Materials Regulated by Many New Astronomical Observations of the Longitude as Well as Latitude; by Thomas Jefferys, Geographer to the King.
Thomas Jefferys (1710-71) was a royal geographer to King George III and a London publisher of maps. He is well known for his maps of North America, produced to meet commercial demand, but also to support British territorial claims against the French. The period from 1748-63 saw fierce global competition between England and France, culminating in the Seven Years' War, which produced a high demand for maps of the contested territories. This map presents Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island in the wake of the “great upheaval,” when the British ...
A Plan of the Rosalij Compy. Estates, the Property of His Excelly. Charles O'Harra, the Honble. Leiut. Gov. Will. Stuart, James Clarke & Rob. & Phill.
France and Britain vied for control of Dominica for many years. In 1763, the British gained possession of the island. This detailed map shows British-owned estates and a plantation on the Atlantic side of the island. Details on the map include individual buildings and structures, roads, sections of the plantation identified by number, administrative divisions of the estates identified by letters, streams, pictorial representations of vegetation and relief, the coastline and coastal features, and a vignette of ships in the harbor. The map also includes a keyed legend listing the ...
Engrossed Declaration of Independence
On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, in which the American colonies set forth a list of grievances against the British Crown and declared that they were breaking from British rule to form free and independent states. On July 19, 1776, Congress resolved that the Declaration passed on the 4th be "fairly engrossed on parchment with the title and stile [sic]: 'The unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of America'...and that the same, when engrossed, be signed by every member of Congress ...
Dunlap Broadside [Declaration of Independence]
John Dunlap, official printer to the Continental Congress, produced the first printed versions of the American Declaration of Independence in his Philadelphia shop on the night of July 4, 1776. After the Declaration had been adopted by the Congress earlier that day, a committee took the manuscript document, possibly Thomas Jefferson's "fair copy" of his rough draft, to Dunlap for printing. On the morning of July 5, copies were dispatched by members of Congress to various assemblies, conventions, and committees of safety as well as to the commanders of ...
Articles of Confederation
On June 11, 1776, the Second Continental Congress appointed three committees in response to the Lee Resolution proposing independence for the American colonies. One of these committees, created to determine the form of a confederation of the colonies, was composed of one representative from each colony. John Dickinson, the delegate from Delaware, was the principal writer. Dickinson’s draft of the Articles of Confederation named the new country "the United States of America." It also provided for a Congress with representation based on population, and gave to the national government ...
Britain Infantry Uniform Sketch (Rutland Militia?)
This sketch is the 14th of 15 original unsigned pencil and ink drawings attributed to Philip James de Loutherbourg (1740-1812). De Loutherbourg, an English artist of French descent, painted many large scenes of English naval victories, including The Defeat of the Spanish Armada. This sketch includes drawings of a uniformed infantryman with a rifle, a head with a cap, and notes on uniform coloring. The uniform may be that of the Rutland Militia, a British regiment founded in 1759. De Loutherbourg sketched these soldiers during mock battles held at Warley ...
The Cusp of Prophetic Lights from the Verified Traditions of Muhammad
This Arabic manuscript, dated 1775, is a collection of the sayings of Muhammad by the scholar as-Sagani (died 1252), who was born in India and served as a diplomatic representative of the caliph an-Nasirbillah to India. The traditions are arranged according to grammatical rules. The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of Islamic Manuscripts in the University Library of Bratislava, Slovakia, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 1997. Safvet beg Bašagić (1870-1934) was a Bosnian scholar, poet, journalist, and museum director who assembled a ...
The Complete Library in Four Sections (Siku Quanshu)
Siku quanshu (Complete library in four sections), compiled in the Qianlong period of the Qing dynasty, was the largest collection of texts in pre-modern China and has an important historical place in the histories of cultural texts and academic thought in China. The Wenjin ge edition is a manuscript written during the Qianlong reign. It includes a total of 36,304 volumes in 6,144 boxes placed on 128 bookshelves. They comprise 79,309 juan (sections) and were originally kept in the Wenjin Pavilion at the Summer Palace in Rehe ...
Map of the Attack and the Taking of the Island of Grenada on July 3, 1779
The islands of Grenada, Dominica, St. Vincent, the Grenadines, and Tobago were ceded by France to Britain following the close of the Seven Years' War (1756-63). France temporarily recaptured these islands in the late 1770s during the period of the U.S. Revolutionary War, a conflict that had hemispheric implications. This elegant, well-executed French military map of the vicinity of St. George's and the harbor depicts the July 1779 French attack on British-held Grenada. The map includes coastline, coastal features, anchorages, a grid of St. George's, other settlements ...
The Book of Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, the Founder of the Jesuit Monastic Order
This manuscript is an Arabic translation of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola. At the beginning of the manuscript, Ignatius (1491–1556) is expressly described as the founder of “Jesuit monasticism.” The text also states that this work was translated from Latin into Arabic in the Phoenician city of Sidon, in the year 1731 by the Jesuit Pierre Fromage (1678–1740). The translation was for the benefit of those in Eastern countries, as it was known that many in Western countries had benefited from the Latin version of the ...
The term ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” refers to a genre of Japanese artwork that flourished in the Edo period (1600–1868). As the phrase “floating world” suggests, with its roots in the ephemeral worldview of Buddhism, ukiyo-e captured the fleeting dynamics of contemporary urban life. While being accessible and catering to “common” tastes, the artistic and technical details of these prints show remarkable sophistication, their subjects ranging from portraits of courtesans and actors to classical literature. Shunshō (1726–93) was a leading artist of the Katsukawa school ...
The Present State of the West-Indies: Containing an Accurate Description of What Parts Are Possessed by the Several Powers in Europe
This book, published in London in 1778, is a succinct compilation of information about the West Indies, containing, as indicated by the lengthy subtitle, “an authentick account of the first discoverers of those islands, and the parts adjacent, their situation, extent, boundaries, soil, product, trade, commerce, inhabitants, strength, government, and religion: also their principal bays and harbours, the materials for which were collected on the spot during the last war by some of the officers of his Majesty's forces, and diligently compared with all authentick narrators.” Even though the ...
Extract of the Dutch Map Representing the Colony of Surinam
This late-18th century French map based on Dutch sources shows a portion of northern Suriname, extending from the Suriname River and Paramaribo on the west to the Maroni River and French Guiana on the east. It includes coastline, coastal features, rivers and streams, the town of Paramaribo, a Jewish settlement ("Bourg nommé des Juifs"), fortifications, individual land holdings, and a defensive line extending almost 100 kilometers from the Atlantic Coast to the Bourg des Juifs on the Suriname River. The primary purpose of the map is to show the defensive ...