Texas Declaration of Independence Broadside Forgery

Texas Declaration of Independence Broadside Forgery

The Texas Declaration of Independence was written and issued by the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos. George C. Childress was named chairman of the committee of five to write the declaration. It is believed that Childress brought to the convention a proposed declaration that was adopted with little change by either the committee or convention. This is because the committee was appointed on March 1 and the Declaration was presented to the convention on March 2. It was approved without debate and signed by 59 delegates plus Convention Secretary Herbert S. Kimble. Then it was printed by Baker and Bordens at San Felipe de Austin. The Texas Declaration of Independence describes the nature of government, lists grievances, and ends with a declaration of independence from the “Mexican nation” and “that the people of Texas, do now constitute a Free, Sovereign, and Independent Republic.”

The Texas Declaration of Independence forgery discussion is found on pages 102-106 in the 1991 reference Texfake by W. Thomas Taylor. In fact, the front and back covers of this excellent tome consist of a forged Texas Declaration of Independence. Importantly, Mr. Taylor lists 12 genuine copies with only three in private hands, with the other nine residing at the Alamo Museum, Southern Methodist University, University of Texas at Austin (4), Texas State Library, University of Texas at Arlington, and Yale University. Mr. Taylor also lists 10 traced forgeries plus two untraced forgeries. The previous owner states that this forgery is listed as forgery number 5 on page 105.

This forged example, measuring approximately 12.25 by 16 inches, is of the little rarer variety with the small ornament on line 8 shifted 5mm to the left. The other variety has the small ornament properly centered directly above the margin between columns two and three of the text. Uniform toned paper was used for the printing of this forgery giving it the appearance of an old document.

Only three genuine examples are available for collectors, therefore making the forgeries all the more desirable.