Cos. Tyrone, Donegal, Londonderry & Fermanagh Ireland Genealogy Research

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John Dunlap(1747-1812) of Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland & The American Declaration of Independence

Courtesy of Wikipedia
Compiled and Submitted by
Jim McKane, Ontario, Canada


John Dunlap was born on Meeting House Street in Strabane in 1747. Dunlap emigrated to Philadelphia at the age of 10 and began working with his uncle William Dunlap, who was one of the leading printers there at that time. The young apprentice was to eventually take over the business transforming it into a publishing company.

He formed the Pennsylvania Packet Newspaper or General Advertiser in November 1771 which became the first daily newspaper in the United States. Dunlap also played an important role in the American Revolution. He was one of the leading founders of the First City Troop of Philadelphia City Calvary and as captain he went to Trenton and Princeton as bodyguard to George Washington. It was in this capacity that he would have witnessed the negotiations for the surrender of New York by fellow Strabane man Guy Carleton.

Moreover, he provided generous financial support to the general war effort. His chief claim to fame is that he became the official printer to the United States Congress and the state of Pennsylvania and as such printed the American Declaration of Independence. On 4th July 1776 Thomas Jefferson and John Hancock submitted the first drafts of the declaration to Dunlap who proof read the original copy at his Philadelphia works.

John Dunlap died on 27th November 1812 and was buried with full military honours at Christ Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


John Dunlap

American Declaration of Independence of the United States of America


Monument in Strabane, Co. Tyrone