Friday, July 4, 2014

Philadelphia American Revolution Conference

Here's me with a couple of terrific History teachers I met at the conference, Chet Bauldrick and Nate Ricks.  We are at the concert and 4th of July fireworks on the Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia American Revolution Conference

Here's some more pictures from around Philadelphia.

Here's the Liberty Bell.

Some horse-drawn carriages.

The famous Philadelphia DUCK tours!

Concert we saw at the Kimmel Center featuring the Philadelphia Pops.

Philadelphia American Revolution Conference

These pictures were all taken around Independence Hall and the Independence Mall.

This is Holly.  She was one of the members of our group and also a tour guide at Independence Hall.

This is the chair that George Washington sat in while serving as President of the Philadelphia Convention.  It is the only original piece of furniture in the room.  At the top, there is an image of the sun carved into the chair.  There is a great quote about this chair from Benjamin Franklin:  "I have often looked at that behind the President without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting.  But now I...know that it is a rising...sun"  

The following pictures are from the House and Senate chambers of Independence Hall.  Independence Hall served as the home of the US Congress until 1800.

Portrait of King Louis.  The French supported the United States during the War for Independence.

Portrait of Queen Antoinette.

These are some of the things that were happening at Independence Mall.

Philadelphia American Revolution Conference

No trip to Philadelphia would be complete without a cheese steak!

Philadelphia American Revolution Conference

These documents all come from the American Philosophical Society.  They are all documents written or signed by George Washington.

These are some surveys George Washington did prior to his career as a soldier.

Here's George Washington's signature.

This is a letter Washington to wrote to Henry Knox in March of 1787.  At the time. the Philadelphia Convention (eventually the Constitutional Convention) was being planned.  Washington was retired at the time and did not want to attend the Convention.  At the same time, Washington was invited to attend the annual meeting of the Society of the Cincinnati  This was a fraternal organization for veterans of the War for Independence.  The Society was controversial because many people believed these war veterans were trying to establish some kind of hereditary military dynasty.  In this letter, Washington asks Knox, one of his top generals during the war, for advice on how he should handle to upcoming Society meeting and the Philadelphia Convention. 

Here's me actually holding a document signed by George Washington.

This is a famous letter that Washington wrote to a woman named Annis Stockton.  It's very interesting...not sure exactly what Washington was going for here!  There is a transcript to the letter below.  See for yourself!

Rocky Hill Septr 2d 1783

You apply to me, My dear Madam, for absolution, as tho’ I was your father Confessor, and as tho’ you had committed a crime, great in itself yet of the venial class__ you have reason good__ for I find myself strangely disposed to be a very indulgent [sic] ghostly adviser on this occasion and, notwithstanding you are the most offending Soul alive (that if it is a crime to write elegant Poety) yet if you will come & dine with me on Thursday, and go thro’ the proper course of penitence which shall be prescribed, I will strive hard to assist you in expiating these poetical trespasses on this side of Purgatory__ No more, if it rests with me to direct your future lucubrations [sic], I shall certainly urge you to a repetition of the same conduct, on purpose to shew what an admirable knack you have at confession & reformation__ and so Without grose hesitation I shall venture to command the Muse not to be restrained by its grounded timidity, but to go out and prosper.
        You see Madam, when once the woman has tempted us, & we have tasted the forbidden fruit, there is no such thing as checking our appetites, whatever the consequences may be__ You will, I dare say, recognize our being the genuine descendents of those who are reputed to be our great Progenitors. ___
Before I come to the more serious conclusion of my letter__ I must beg leave to say a Word or two about these fine things you have been telling in such harmonious & beautiful numbers__ Fiction is to be sure the very life & Soul of Poetry__All Poets & Poetesses have been endulged [sic] in the free and indisputable use of it time out of Mind and to oblige you to make such an excellent Poem, on such a subject, without any materials but those of simple reality, would be as cruel as the Edict of Pharoah, which compelled the Children of Israel to Manufacture Bricks without the necessary ingredients
          Thus are you sheltered under the Authority of prescription, and I will not dare to charge you with an intentional breach of the Rules of the Decalogue in giving so bright a colouring to the services I have been enabled to render my Country; tho’ I am not conscious of deserving any thing more at your hands, than what the purest & most disinterested friendship has a right to claim; actuated by which you will permit me, to thank you in the most affectionate Manner for the kind wishes you have so happily expressed for me & the partner of all my Domestic enjoyment__ Be assured we can never forget our friend at Morven, and that I am, my dear Madam, with every sentiment of friendship & esteem

 Your Most Obedt &
 Obliged Servt
 G Washington

These are the final two letters Washington wrote prior to his death in December of 1799.