American Independence Museum to display original working drafts of U.S. Constitution 

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The interior of the Ladd-Gilman House where the drafts will be on public display at no charge to the public.
The interior of the Ladd-Gilman House where the drafts will be on public display at no charge to the public.

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EXETER, NH – Generally stored in a special climate-controlled environment and not available for public viewing, two original working drafts of the U.S. Constitution will be on display at the American Independence Museum on Saturday, September 16. 

“These drafts have not been on public view since before the pandemic, so we are thrilled to bring them back to celebrate Constitution Day,” said Jennifer Carr, executive director of the American Independence Museum (AIM).

The first draft contains handwritten notes in the margins and is a copy of the initial version. The second draft, a seven-page document resembling a broadside, includes corrections and amendments made in iron gall ink by Captain Nicholas Gilman, who was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

“The notes on the drafts reveal the thought process of the people who wrote the Constitution,” said Carr. “This is an extraordinary opportunity to literally see history unfold before your eyes.

In addition to the public viewing of the U.S. Constitution drafts on Saturday, September 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ladd-Gilman House on 1 Governor’s Lane in Exeter, AIM will also host Constitution Comic Workshops. Sponsored by Ed and Barbara Wilson, the workshops begin at 10 a.m. for educators and 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. for families and children.

All events at AIM on Saturday, September 16 are free, although $10 donations are encouraged. “We wanted to create a day for people of all ages to have fun and be inspired,” said Carr.

For more information about the workshops, or to pre-register, visit

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