Declaration of Indepence in Private Hand

A rare 1776 copy of the Declaration of Independence belongs to a Virginia technology entrepreneur, not the state of Maine, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled Friday. Richard Adams Jr. of Fairfax County purchased the document from a London book dealer in 2001 for $475,000. But the state of Maine claimed it belongs to the town of Wiscasset, where it was kept by the town clerk in 1776.

[…]

Maine state archivist David Cheever said he found it „incredible“ that the state’s rights were trumped by a private collector. Maine contended the document never should have been sold because of a state law which presumes that public documents remain public property unless ownership is expressly relinquished by the government.

„To us, it’s a public document. It was then. It is now,“ Cheever said.

Read more at
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090227/ap_on_re_us/declaration_lawsuit

http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinions/opnscvwp/1080987.pdf


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