Benjamin Franklin Gates has spent his whole life searching for a fortune few dare to believe exists. This is the legendary KnightsTemplar Treasure, rumored to be the most awesome bounty in human history, and hidden somewhere in America. For six generations, the Gates family has chased after clues left behindby America‚¬Ä¬ôs Founding Fathers and scoured the nation in search of the treasure. Now the maverick Ben Gates has made a breakthrough. At last, he knows where the ultimate hint to the treasure‚¬Ä¬ôs location lies--a hidden map on the back of the Declaration of Independence. As knowledge of the map spreads to a ruthless adversary, Ben is faced with a terrible dilemma. Either Ben must be first to steal America‚¬Ä¬ôs most sacreddocument--one guarded by the most sophisticated security in the world--or let it fall into dangerous hands. In a race against time, his rivals and the authorities, Gates teams together with his tech-whiz friend Riley and the alluring, but unwitting, National Archivesconservator Abigail Chase to accomplish the unthinkable. Will they succeed in pulling off one of the most ambitious heists of all time? Will the Declaration of Independence lead Ben closer to the treasure? From the ventilation shafts of the National Archives to the catacombs beneath New York City--the answers are revealed as Ben Gates unlocks the mystery behind America‚¬Ä¬ôsgreatest national treasure.