Philadelphia’s Declaration House is the spot where Thomas Jefferson first drafted the Declaration of Independence in June 1776.
This house is known by another name. Can you guess what it is?
Answer: The Graff House
Jacob Graff, a Philadelphia brick mason, built a residence in 1775 at the corner of 7th and Market Streets. It was here, in the summer of 1776, that Thomas Jefferson, part of the newly-formed committee to draft America’s “declaration of independence” from the British, sought refuge to gather his thoughts and begin writing such a document. He rented out the entire second floor of the house for himself and his staff. Graff’s original structure survived until the 1880s, when it was razed to make room for a bank. In the Declaration’s 200th year, 1975, the National Park Service rebuilt the Graff House, and it then became known as the Declaration House.
In addition to possessing documents and images related to Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence, HSP also has a few records from the Graff family of Philadelphia, such as a receipt and a cashbook from Jacob Graff (Am .952 & .9520); genealogical records from Jacob’s grandson, Frederick Graff (#1190); and a business diary from another of Jacob’s grandsons, merchant Charles Graff, dating from 1800 to 1823 (Am .07058).