Maine document fight before Va. high court

Posted Jan. 13, 2009, at 9:44 p.m.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A dispute over ownership of a historically significant copy of the Declaration of Independence is before the Virginia Supreme Court.

Internet pioneer Richard Adams Jr. of Fairfax County bought the document from a London book dealer seven years ago.

But the state of Maine claims it belongs to the town of Wiscasset, where it was kept by the town clerk in 1776. The document was found in 1994 in the attic of a home owned by the clerk’s daughter.

A Fairfax judge ruled against Maine last February, and Maine appealed. The justices heard arguments from both sides Tuesday. A ruling is likely in late February.

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