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Note Jefferson attached under his writing desk in 1825
 
Audio

"Declaration of Independence"
From "Heritage USA: The American Revolution"
© Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Declaration of Independence Desk
1770s

Thomas Jefferson's laptop
In 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence on this portable lap desk of his own design. Featuring a hinged writing board, a locking drawer for papers and pens, and an inkwell, the desk was Jefferson's companion as a Revolutionary patriot, American diplomat, and president of the United States. Jefferson himself anticipated the veneration of this desk on which he penned the manuscript drafts of the Declaration of Independence. In a note he wrote at Monticello in 1825 and attached under the desk's writing board, he warned: "Politics as well as Religion has its superstitions. These, gaining strength with time, may, one day, give imaginary value to this relic, for its great association with the birth of the Great Charter of our Independence."

Notes
Thomas Jefferson born April 2 [April 13, New Style], 1743, Shadwell, VA; died July 4, 1826, Monticello, VA

Learn more!
· Thomas Jefferson, Third President, 1801-1809
· Transcript of Note Under Desk
· "Declaration of Independence"
· The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden - An NMAH Virtual Exhibition

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