Historical Society of Pennsylvania speaks to significance of original US Constitution being sold

Presently only 13 are known to exist, says Dr. Lee Arnold of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Historical Society of Pennsylvania houses nearly six editions of the U.S. Constitution. Action News gained a first-hand look at the original draft, which dates back to the summer of 1787.

It's usually housed in a vault at the society.

"The Historical Society of Pennsylvania has six editions of the Constitution of the United States, starting from the first ink on paper," said Dr. Lee Arnold of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

It is extraordinary to come across documents that set our country's foundation. Arnold, who has worked more than 30 years at the society, shared why it speaks volumes that Sotheby's is auctioning off one of the original copies of the U.S. Constitution in a matter of days.

"The good news is people value an edition of the Constitution so much to collect it," Arnold added.

He says it was only a matter of months from the first draft of the Constitution to be completed. At the time, there were hundreds of copies, but presently only 13 are known to exist.

"You can look at the importance of text in Wikipedia, but there's something about a version that actually existed at that time that people could actually touch and see," said Arnold.

The big auction is coming up in the next couple of days with Sotheby's. But Arnold says there is truly no price tag on something so valuable.

"I know that intrinsically I can't think of anything more valuable at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania than the first draft of the U.S. Constitution," he said.

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