2011 44¢ Quill and Inkwell Coil
Issue Date: February 14, 2011
City: Kansas City, MO
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset, Microprint "USPS"
Thomas Jefferson at first seemed an unlikely candidate to draft America’s Declaration of Independence. He attended Congressional sessions rarely and spoke little. “I never heard him utter three sentences together,” wrote John Adams. Despite that, Jefferson was the obvious choice, having “the Reputation of a masterly Pen,” according to Adams, and “no competition… in Elocution and public debate.”
The Declaration was approved by the committee formed for its creation. It faced a stronger test in the debate by the Continental Congress, but eventually won approval on July 2, 1776.
Legend says John Hancock signed his name with a great flourish and declared, “There, I guess King George will be able to read that!” In truth, Hancock’s signature was the only one given that day. On July 4th, members of Congress approved the final wording of the manuscript. Neither the king nor the British Ministry “needed their spectacles” to read America’s declaration of liberty.
In 1863, in his Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln called Jefferson’s document “the birth of a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” What Jefferson created with his quill pen endures today – as the United States of America.