jacob shallus

Even the most important document in the United States has mistakes! This is the “errata” note on the fourth page of the Constitution.

Jacob Shallus inserted this after he was done “engrossing” the final document. He was under a tight deadline:

Arthur Plotnik estimates that Shallus had about 40 hours between receiving the drafts and handing back the engrossed parchment, but that after accounting for eating and sleeping, the number of working hours was more likely 35. Plotnik estimates the “slowest possible pace” to be about 160 words an hour. Shallus had to write over 4,000 words.

The Constitution is on permanent display in the National Archives building in Washington, DC. The “fifth page” of the Constitution, also engrossed by Jacob Shallus will be on display from September 14 to 19 in honor of the 225th anniversary of the Constitution.