Oregon Historical Society Presents Democracy's Blueprints: The Documents that Built America


The Oregon Historical Society presents engravings of important American documents in tandem with Lakewood's run of 1776 the Musical.

Democracy’s Blueprints: The Documents that Built America

July 29, 2016 – February 1, 2017

As Lakewood celebrates the opening of the musical 1776 on our Headlee Mainstage, we also celebrate the history of our great nation through the documents that formed it, as presented by our friends at the Oregon Historical Society. Now on display through February 1, 2017 in Downtown Portland, "Democracy's Blueprints: The Documents that Built America" features rare engravings of five bedrock documents – The Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights and Monroe Doctrine – that symbolize America’s long quest for a more perfect union. Continue below for a sneak peek of this remarkable exhibition.

OHS Magna Carta Engraving Broadside of The Magna Carta, printed in 1733 on vellum, courtesy Mark Family Collection

Background: The Great Charter was issued by King John of England in 1215 and established the principle that every man, including the king, was subject to the law. Principles of the Magna Carta are echoed in the U.S. Bill of Rights.

“No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions... nor will we proceed with force against him... except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.”

OHS Declaration of Independence Binns EngravingBroadside of the Declaration of Independence, reproduced by John Binns with color portraits and state seals in 1819, courtesy Mark Family Collection

Background: Drafted in 1776, these exalted phrases from Thomas Jefferson express the colonial ideals of liberty and equality and provide the justification for the colonies severing ties with the mother country.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights... Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Now on exhibit at the Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Ave., Portland
Hours: Monday–Saturday 10am–5pm, Sunday 12pm–5pm
Admission: $11, Free for OHS members & Multnomah County residents
Please mention Lakewood Center when gaining admission.
For more information, please visit the Oregon Historical Society website