Hyperspectral images of a draft of the Declaration of Independence reveal that it originally used the word 'subjects' instead of 'citizens' at a critical juncture. After writing "our fellow subjects," author Thomas Jefferson scrubbed it out and replaced it with the familiar alternative.
To the Library of Congress, whose Preservation Research and Testing Division analyzed the document with the latest high-resolution camera equipment, it illustrates an important moment: "when [Jefferson] reconsidered his choice of words and articulated the recognition that the people of the fledgling United States of America were no longer subjects of any nation, but citizens of an emerging democracy."
The sensitivites surrounding the revelation are obvious, as is its humor. Perhaps Jefferson simply forgot, in his haste to draft the document that would shape his nation's future. Or maybe we're seeing a decisive instant, a decision about that future's very nature being made in ink.
The Library of Congress often discovers unusual things while examining ancient artifacts
. Especially maps and documents, where modern tech sees what the naked eye can't: corrections, changes, and severely faded or damaged elements.
The correction is in the part of the declaration concerning grievances against King George III.
"It had been a spine-tingling moment when I was processing data late at night and realized there was a word underneath citizens," said scientist Fenella France, who revealed the correction at the LoC's labs, in a press release
. "Then I began the tough process of extracting the differences between spectrally similar materials to elucidate the lost text."
According to the Library, the correction was suspected in the past--similar language exists in state constitutions--but not demonstrable until now.
Photos: Library of Congress.
When Zoe Stavri woke up with a yeast infection, she had a strange and intriguing idea: what about adding some of her vaginal candida to sourdough starter?
Nick Sousanis, who delivered his doctoral dissertation in comic book form, has a new comic in the current Nature magazine, explaining the last 25 years’ worth of climate talks, as a primer in advance of the Paris climate talks next week.
Randall “XKCD” Munroe’s Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words arrives in stores today: it combines technical diagrams and wordplay in pure display of everything that makes XKCD brilliant and wonderful in every way.
Celebrate Cyber Monday with some brain food. Save on any eLearning deal in the Boing Boing Store today using coupon code: CYBERMONDAY25. Below are a couple of our favorite eLearning offers: eduCBA Tech Training Bundle: Lifetime Subscription:Welcome to your personal online classroom, where you can finally study at your own pace, on your own time (and […]
This minimalist multi-tool will see to it that instead of rocking a tool belt, you’ll carry just one. It’s shaped slightly like a key and weighs less than an ounce, so it plays nice with your keychain. The strong surgical-grade stainless steel blade will last, and is handy for everyday tasks like opening boxes and […]
The Code Black is our top-selling drone of all time—and for good reason. This powerful, palm-size drone is not only insanely fun to fly, but can capture some serious video footage from up above. With a flight time of about 10 minutes and an ultra-smooth ride, it’s a great introductory drone for anyone looking to […]