Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"Founding Fathers in Philadelphia" Tour

Thanks for joining us again!

Before noon, we took off for Independence Hall, where all our founding documents were deliberated and signed.

Franklin would stare at the back of John Hancock's chair during their sessions, and wonder if it was a setting or rising sun. After signing the D of I, Franklin announced, "Now I know that it is a rising and not a setting sun!" Could we say today that God's light and blessing is shining down upon our country today? The word "God" was never spoken as we watched and heard films and guides speak of our Founding Fathers.

I love architecture, so, I hope you won't mind if I shared a few photos from our walk through an old neighborhood of Philly: beautiful grillwork, and typical row houses.

Fire Insurance Symbol: This house was

Next, we toured the upper class home of  Bishop William White and his family.  It was definitely a sharp contrast to the Todd's humble abode.  I loved the wallpaper in the hall and dining rooms, and the bookshelf arrangement in the Bishop's study...clever!

And last, but not least, our dinner at City Tavern. Although recreated from the 1773 original building, this authentic tavern was visited by Washington and all the signers of the D of I, as well as Paul Revere directly after his midnight ride.

Costumed waitstaff, and 18th century fare created by Chef Walter Staib, host of PBS "Taste of History," made this the perfect choice. Our waitress, Jessica,(pictured) gave us a history lesson with every course she served us...delightful! We ordered: Pork Chop Apple-Wood Smoked, Roasted Duckling, Wiener Schnitzel, and Chicken á la Ben Franklin. 

We made a quick trip to the Liberty Bell first thing this morning. Discovered the bell was made in 1752, with the words of liberty already engraved, before any thought of revolution entered the minds of the Americans!

On the way to the US Mint, Mario mentioned he was hungry. He wondered if they served "silver dollar pancakes" in their café! No photos were allowed in the building, but we learned why silver dimes and quarters had serrated edges: easier to tell if a buyer had shaved off bits of the coin to spend later. Merchants had to weigh the silver in the early days to make sure they were not being cheated.

The first tour we took today in Philadelphia was the Quaker home of John and Dolly Todd. The home reflects their simple lifestyle. Dolly, after John's death (of yellow fever), married James Madison. Aaron Burr introduced James and Dolly in the Todd's own parlor, shown below.

Notice the rope "springs" on the bed. They had to be tightened every so often to keep the mattress firm. Thus the saying, "Sleep tight!"

We visited the grand Georgian home of Samuel Powel, Philadelphia's "Patriot Mayor". He and his wife Elizabeth entertained leaders of the American Revolution. George Washington, Franklin and Adams enjoyed sumptuous meals in their home, and walked up these stairs to the parlor where they danced. Read this precious letter to Franklin from his daughter.

Fascinating historic fact:

Owners placed their mortgage papers in a hole at the end of the main staircase. When the home was paid off, the papers were burned, and the hole filled with a ceramic button, for all visitors to see!


  1. I enjoyed seeing your photos on Facebook, as my 5th grade daughter has been studying U.S. history. Very cool, that you can travel like this!

    1. Yes, it is a privilege, Tina! Thanks for stopping by...good to hear from you again.

  2. Very interesting tidbits pf history, Jarm. Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us.


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Journey into the Promised Land

Journey into the Promised Land
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