Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Museum of the American Revolution

The brand new Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia ( is a treasure for Americans and all those with an interest in exploring American history.  This incredible Museum opened in April of 2017 after having been built for around $150 million.

George Washington's tent
Museum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia, PA
The centerpiece of the museum is George Washington's tent.  The "indispensable man" of the American Revolution used this tent on the long campaigns that stretched from 1776 to 1783.  Washington deliberated inside this tent with Alexander Hamilton and the Marquis de Lafayette.  For a while the tent belonged to Robert E. Lee of Virginia and his descendants.

Dorchester Heights
Boston, MA
The museum is filled with multi-media and interactive displays.  Visitors are invited to touch an 18th century cannon and to imagine the difficulty faced by Henry Knox and his men who dragged over 100 cannon from Fort Ticonderoga to Dorchester Heights in 1776 forcing the British from Boston.

George III
Museum of the American Revolution
In America Invaded ( we noted...

 "In one of the most remarkable feats of the American Revolution, these cannon had been dragged by men and oxen about three hundred and fifty miles from Fort Ticonderoga in New York under the leadership of Henry Knox, a Boston bookseller. Dorchester Heights then and now has a commanding view of Boston Harbor, and the Patriot guns directly threatened ships of the Royal Navy.  This was a hugely significant early victory for the revolutionary forces, and Evacuation Day is celebrated every March 17 in Suffolk County."

William Burke, Redcoat
Museum of the American Revolution
The museum attempts to be even-handed in its treatment of Patriots,  Tories and Native Americans.  We often tend to forget that those who remained Loyal to the crown (such as William Franklin, Ben's son and the Tory Governor of New Jersey) were every bit as American as those who rebelled against King George III.  We forget that much of the American Revolution was a bloody civil war.

Patriot Soldier
Museum of the American Revolution
This museum also takes note of the complex role played by native Americans and African Americans. In America Invaded: A State by State Guide to Fighting on American Soil  ( we wrote...

Site of the Boston Massacre
"Crispus Attucks, of African and Wampanoag heritage, is widely acknowledged as the  first casualty of the American Revolution when he was killed in the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770. Nearly 5 percent of Patriot soldiers who served during the American Revolution were of African heritage. While numerous tribes fought for the Loyalist cause, many Native Americans, and notably those of the Stockbridge, Oneida, and Tuscarora tribes, joined the Patriot ranks."

Paul Revere print of the Boston Massacre
Museum of the American Revolution
The museum also highlights the propaganda that was employed by both sides in the American Revolution.  A famous Paul Revere print depicting the Boston Massacre has numerous historical inaccuracies in its portrayal of the British soldiers that fired on a crowd in 1770.

George Washington Bust
Museum of the American Revolution

Most importantly this museum reminds us that the American Revolution stands apart from other all other revolutions in world history.  The French Revolution and the Russian Revolution were violent convulsions whose significance is now purely historical.  They would lead directly to the even bloodier convulsions of the Napoleonic Wars, Stalin's purges and the Soviet invasions of Poland (1939), Finland (1940) and Afghanistan (1979).  The Reign of Terror and the depradations of Lenin and Stalin belong now, we sincerely hope, to the dustbin of history.  The violence of the American Revolution ended in 1783 with the Treaty of Paris. But the legacy of the American Revolution is directly relevant to the future and germane for ALL countries.  All Americans, regardless of their political affiliation, are heirs to this revolution which promises a path for all individuals to pursue their happiness with utmost liberty unfettered by a tyrannical central government.  There is a direct causal link between Captain Parker of Lexington and Todd Beamer of Flight 93 (

"Join or Die"
Washington Tavern Porter by Yards Brewing, Philadelphia, PA
We Americans are all Revolutionaries!

No comments: