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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Museum of the American Revolution

I recently visited the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia which had its grand opening in April of this year. It really was a wonderful museum which depicted the War of Independence from its onset to its glorious victory. It was thrilling to see the familiar, as it began with an exhibits in Boston and Lexington and Concord. After all, I grew up in Massachusetts and had heard all about this all my life. But to see artifacts and such, I felt honored to be there. All in all, there was a broad overview of the Revolution, yet so many details were highlighted. I enjoyed the fact that representations of all peoples, nations, and genders, involved were exhibited. What impressed me was that throughout the museum what they did was not only tell the story of the American Revolution, but stories of the people involved. It was truly fascinating!

Here are a few photos so you can have a peek inside, of course there is so much more to see. Perhaps you can visit sometime. It is definitely worth the trip! (Be sure to click on the images to open up to a larger size to read the text on some of them.)

In the entrance of the Museum of the American Revolution are displayed these costumes which were worn in the TV drama, Turn. Although, I do wish they'd get mannequins with wigs and hats and boots. :)


The exhibits were all on the upper level, with the gift shop, etc. on the lower. A beautiful art gallery was in the upper rotunda. There were two theaters upstairs. These presentations included the Battle of Brandywine and one with an actual view of George Washington's war tent (sorry, no photo).

 
Pulling down King George III's Statue
The above depicts bringing down the statue of King George III. On July 9, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read in publicly in front of George Washington in New York City. A crowd went to Bowling Green in Manhattan where the angry mob pulled down the King's statue no longer willing to serve the crown.


Liberty Tree exhibit. Photo credit Blue Cadet.
  This stunning exhibit has a beautiful, life size Liberty Tree in the center. All around are stories and artifacts that help explain why Independence became such an important issue for the people and what measures they took in peaceful resistance to England before the war began.

Continental soldier
Joseph Plumb Martin left his grandsire's farm in Connecticut wanted to prove that he was as "warm a patriot as the best of them" and joined the thousands of teenagers in Washington's Army.

British soldier

 
Snowball fight at Harvard Yard
  This scene depicts George Washington breaking up a snowball fight at Harvard Yard among Continental soldiers during the Siege of Boston in 1775. The fight started when the young soldiers from Marblehead, Massachusetts saw the white, ruffled and fringed shirts of a unit of Virginians pass by and ridiculed them. Gen. Washington, needless to say, showed up at that moment and put an immediate stop to the hurling of insults and snowballs!


Francis Merrifield Bible
I was impressed by this Bible in the New England Soldiers exhibit. It belonged to Ipswich soldier, Francis Merrifield, who immediately after surviving the Battle of Bunker Hill inscribed the following:  "Cambridge June 17, 1775. I desire to bless God for his Kind apirince [appearance] in delivering me and sparing my life in the late battle fought on Bunker's Hill. I desire to devote this spared life to His glory and honour. In witness, my hand, Francis Merrifield."





Brothers Charles Wilson Peale and James Peale were both portrait artists. James served as an officer and served in the Maryland Continentals. His unit has suffered severe casualties at the Battle of Brooklyn Heights. When James reunited with his brother on the banks of the Delaware, Charles barely recognized him.


American prisoners kept at the State House in Philadelphia, PA.
During the early months of British occupation, a detachment of British grenadiers lived in the lower level of the State House (Independence Hall). Nearly 70 captured and wounded American officers were held on the floor above. Civilians who visited the prisoners were deeply affected by their suffering. Many Quaker women would bring food, drink, and medicine to the prisoners. Despite this, Quakers were often accused of harboring Loyalist sympathies since they were pacifists.


Hessian soldier

British Dragoons
Native Americans allies or foes?
 Some Native Americans allied with the British while others fought alongside the Americans.

We desire you will hear and receive what we have now told you, and that you will open a good ear and listen to what we are now going to say. This is a family quarrel between us and Old England. You Indians are not concerned in it. We don't wish you to take up the hatchet against the king's troops. We desire you to remain at home, and not join on either side, but keep the hatchet buried deep." —The Second Continental Congress, Speech to the Six Nations, July 13, 1775






Generations of Revolution
 This wall of Generations of Revolution in Photographs includes those who have made a difference in the cause of liberty in our nation's history. The large picture on the right with the man in the bicorne hat is of George Fishley. His photograph was taken along with thirteen other last men of the American Revolution, also featured here. This exhibit closes with mirrors at adult and child height to peer into and see a reflection of another generation of those who can influence revolution for liberty!


I hope you enjoy this little tour of the Museum of the American Revolution. Have you had a chance to visit it yet? What other historical museums have you visited that left a lasting impression on you?





New Englander Carla Gade writes from her Victorian home in central Maine. With ten books in print she enjoys bringing her tales to life with historically authentic settings and characters. An avid reader, amateur genealogist, photographer, and house plan hobbyist, Carla's great love (next to her family) is historical research. Though you might find her tromping around an abandoned homestead, an old fort, or interviewing a docent at an historical museum, it's easier to connect with her online.
https://www.facebook.com/CarlaOlsonGade

4 comments:

  1. Wonderful article and photos, Carla! I thoroughly enjoyed it. I visited the museum at the beginning of May with members from my DAR chapter. We were thrilled to tour the museum and see artifacts from the time period that our ancestors lived and served in.

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    1. That must have been very exciting to enjoy it with your DAR group members. I can just hear the chatter now!

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  2. Haven't been to this museum. I love history and I know I would enjoy it immensely!

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    1. I hope you have an opportunity to visit there someday, Paula!

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