West Sussex County Council was delighted that the Sussex Declaration, a rare copy of the American Declaration of Independence, was displayed at No 10 Downing Street during the presidential state visit to the UK.
The declaration is one of only two contemporary handwritten ceremonial parchment manuscript copies, the other being the signed copy housed in the National Archives in Washington D.C.
West Sussex county archivist Wendy Walker delivered a short presentation to Prime Minister Theresa May and President Donald Trump about the document and its historical significance.
Wendy said: “It was a huge privilege to speak to the President about this important piece of West Sussex history. It further demonstrates the close ties between the UK and the US, spanning more than three centuries.”
Great efforts were taken to transport the document from the Record Office in Chichester to Downing Street. A conservation expert from the National Conservation Service was involved and a specially-designed exhibition case, previously used for the Magna Carta, was loaned by Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust to display the historic document.
County council leader Louise Goldsmith said: “The significance of the Sussex Declaration cannot be underestimated and we are thrilled it has helped in demonstrating the country’s transatlantic ties.”