Words On Pieces of Paper

Picture Shallus doing the words, "engrossing" the Constitution, as the process was called, copying it out at an elegant angle in large, legible script. The four sheets of parchment were vellum, the skin of a lamb or a calf, stretched, scraped and dried. The ink, a blend of oak galls and dyes. The light, an oil lamp. The instrument, a feather quill. All nature contributing to the assignment, human nature in the form of Jacob Shallus, ordinary American citizen, son of a German immigrant to Philadelphia, soldier, patriot, father of eight and, at the time of the Constitutional Convention, assistant clerk...

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