Independence Hall and the Declaration of Independence
We hold these truths to be self evident…
Independence Hall is famous as the place where two of the most important documents of the United States were debated, drafted, approved and signed – The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776 and the United States Constitution, September 17, 1787.
The Pennsylvania State House later became known as Independence Hall and a symbol of a nation to come. In the spring of 1729 the citizens of Philadelphia petitioned to build a state house and committed two thousand pounds to the project. Thomas Lawrence, Dr. John Kearsley, and Andrew Hamilton were commissioned to select a site, acquire plans for the building, and a company for the construction. The State House was paid for by the Pennsylvania colonial legislature as funds were available, meaning it was finished piecemeal between 1732 and 1753. The State House was designed by Edmund Woolley and Andrew Hamilton and built by Woolley. However, there had been much disagreement between Dr. John Kearsley and Andrew Hamilton on several issues that necessitated arbitration. August 14, 1732 the House of Representatives ruled in favor of Hamilton. Ground was broken soon after and 21 years later the building was completed. Through the years many changes, additions and alterations have taken place. The Liberty Bell is presently located across the street from Independence Hall. The Thomas Stretch Clock has been restored to name a few.
The Pennsylvania State House served as the principal meeting place for the Second Continental Congress. It was in the Assembly Room that George Washington was nominated as commander -in – chief of the Continental Army. It is also where Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first Postmaster General of what would later become the United States Post Office Department. At one time the basement served as the city’s dog pound and the second floor was once home to Charles Wilson Peale’s museum of natural history.
George Washington’s “rising sun” chair dominates the Assembly Room. Unfortunately, when I photographed that part of the Assembly Room, I could not get a close up shot of a sun carved on the back of the chair. James Madison reported Benjamin Franklin saying, “I have often looked at that behind the president and without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting. But now I…know that it is a rising sun.” I suggest you Google George Washington’s “rising sun” chair
I hope these photographs will take you back to colonial times and stir your patriotic feelings, maybe even raise a goose bump or two, especially on Independence Day.