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Declaration (Graff) House

Where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence

Declaration (Graff) House

Inside the Declaration (Graff) House, Thomas Jefferson wrote the monumental Declaration of Independence. Credit: R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Description

The Declaration (Graff) House is temporarily closed until June 2016.

Overview

The all-important words that created a new nation were written by Thomas Jefferson at the home of Jacob Graff. Jr. Visitors can view first-floor exhibitions and a short film regarding Jefferson’s endeavors at the home where he rented two second-floor rooms from Graff, a well-known bricklayer.

The recreated Georgian structure on the second floor features the parlor that Jefferson worked in, as well as his bedroom where it’s likely he was attended to by a slave who accompanied him from Virginia. Period furnishings, some recreated, can also be seen.

History

Originally built in 1775, the red-brick house at Seventh and Market streets was reconstructed in 1975. In June 1776, Jefferson traveled to Philadelphia to attend the second Continental Congress and joined in the call for the colonies to breakaway from Great Britain. He was chosen to write the Declaration’s timeless words. Jefferson completed the job in about three weeks.

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