State Seeks Declaration of Independence
Maine Assistant State Attorney General Thomas Knowlton and Deputy State Attorney General William Stokes are heading to Virginia next month to try to retrieve the copy of the Declaration of Independence sent in 1776 to Pownalborough (now Wiscasset). It's now in the hands of collector Richard L. Adams, Jr.
Unbeknownst to Anna Plumstead, her attic in Wiscasset, Me., held a treasure: one of the earliest copies of the Declaration of Independence, delivered to her town in 1776 as part of a campaign to spread its message through the original 13 colonies.Maine successfully prevented the sale of North Yarmouth's copy of the Declaration in 2001.
After Ms. Plumstead died in 1994, the document was sold at an estate auction. It changed hands several times, ending up with a private collector in Virginia who paid $475,000 for it in 2001. Now Maine is seeking to reclaim it, citing a state statute that says a public document remains public until explicitly relinquished by the government. [Link]