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Important Writings, Papers, & Designs

Great Seal of the United States
By US Department of State
Mar 17, 2006, 2:05pm

The Great Seal of the United States

Library of Congress
To create the original Great Seal of the United States, three of the best minds of the Age of Enlightenmen Franklin, Adams, and Jeffersostruggled unsuccessfully with Biblical and classical themes, including the Children of Israel in the Wilderness and the Judgement of Hercules. Finally they sought the help of a talenteddrawe and portrait artist, Pierre Eugene du Simitiere. To the post of consultant, Du Simitiere brought some knowledge of heraldrthe art of describing coats of armand also experience in designing seals.

Four features recommended by the first committee and its consultant were later adopted in the final seal: the Eye of Providence and the date of independence (MDCCLXXVI), both of which appeared on the final reverse side of the seal, and the shield and Latin motto, E Pluribus Unum (Out of many, one), on the obverse side.

1st approved design for the Great Seal of the United States
The first committee submitted its design on August 20, 1776, but the Congress ordered the reportto lie on the table indicating lack of approval.

-from "The Great Seal of The United States"
US Department of State

Learning Links

Download the booklet on the Great Seal of the United States from the US Department of State



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