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1776 document's owner is declared

February 28, 2009|Associated Press

A rare 1776 copy of the Declaration of Independence belongs to a Virginia technology entrepreneur, not the state of Maine, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled Friday.

Richard Adams Jr. of Fairfax County purchased the document from a London book dealer in 2001 for $475,000. But the state of Maine claimed it belongs to the town of Wiscasset, where it was kept by the town clerk in 1776.

Virginia's high court said that a lower court did not err in its ruling in Adams' favor because Maine didn't prove the document was ever an official town record and that Adams had superior title to the print.

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