First Idea of Declaration of Independence, Paris, Sept. 1786 Artist: John Trumbull (American, 1756–1843)
Artist: Thomas Jefferson (American, 1743–1826, LL.D. 1786)


Graphite (Trumbull) pen and brown ink (Jefferson)


6 15/16 × 9 1/16 in. (17.6 × 23 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. Ernest A. Bigelow

Accession Number



18th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.

  • Elizabeth Kennedy, Olivier Meslay, and Lois Marie Fink, American Artists and the Louvre, exh. cat. (Chicago: Terra Foundation for American Art, 2006), 37, ill
  • Helen A. Cooper et al., John Trumbull: The Hand and Spirit of a Painter (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1982), 79, pl. 26
Object copyright
Additional information


In brown ink 1.1. (in Trumbull's hand?) " done by Mr. Jefferson--Paris 1786: to convey/ an Idea of the Room in which congress/ sat, at the Declaration of Independence/ on the ground floor of the old state house in/ Philadelphia--lefthanded at entrance"; along vertical fold at center: "first Idea of Declaration of Independence/ Paris Sept. 1786"

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