A later theory of why the explanation came so quickly in the years after its creation comes from the usual 18th century practice of taking «press copies». Press copies were made by placing a thin, damp sheet of paper on a manuscript and pressing up to the transmission of part of the ink. The thin paper copy was kept in the same way as a modern copy. The ink was put back on a copper plate, which was then engraved, allowing copies of the plate to be placed on a press. This «wet transfer» method could have been used by William J. Stone when he was commissioned in 1820 by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams to make a facsimile of the entire declaration, signatures and text. On June 5, 1823, almost exactly 47 years after the first draft of Jefferson`s declaration, the (Washington) national intelligence was able to report «that Mr. William J. Stone, a respectable and enterprising engraver of this city, completed, after three years of work, a façade of the original declaration of independence that is now in the government archives; that it is executed with the utmost precision and fidelity; and that the Department of Foreign Affairs has become the buyer of the plate. By the end of the summer, the physical condition of the statement had become a public concern.
On August 3, 1876, Congress passed a joint resolution providing «that a commission composed of the Minister of the Interior, the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and the Librarian of Congress be authorized to use the means that will most effectively restore the development of the original manuscript of the Declaration of Independence with the attached signatures.» This resolution had already been tabled on 5 January 1876. One of the candidates for the restoration was William J. Canby, an employee of the Washington Gas Company. On April 13, Canby wrote to the Congress librarian: «I have more than thirty years of experience in the use of the parchment pen and I have encompassed hundreds of ornamental and special documents during this period as an expert.» Canby added that «the only possible plan is to fill the original with a stock of ink destroyed by the action of light and time, with an ink that, as we know, is imperishable for all practical purposes.» Except that the document was exhibited on April 13, 1943 at the inauguration of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington. Dr. This copy of the statement represents the fair copy that the Committee presented to Congress. Jefferson noted that «the parts rejected by Congress are distinguished by a black line drawn below them, and the parts they have inserted are placed on the edge or in a simultaneous column.» Despite its importance in the history of the text`s evolution, this copy of the statement received very little public attention.