I was up and out of the house before 6:00 am yesterday in order to meet some friends at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. It was a June 2017 visit that spun me off on a different intellectual path that I am still on today. One of the friends with whom I was meeting too has been on something of a new trajectory these past several years relating to the Colonial, Revolutionary, and Early Republic Eras. We met at Federal Hall on Presidents Day 2020 just before the pandemic. He has been making great strides in his pursuits. All of us in our party found the museum overwhelming and exhilarating. There is so much to take in. The MOAR opened in April 2017 and has done such an incredible job in such a short period of time that it is difficult to believe it has been a mere half decade. A highlight of the day, one of many, was talking to the museum staff who intermingle and converse with patrons in the galleries. I struck up conversations with at least 3-4 and they have disparate intellectual interests. There is something in there about pursuing one’s own happiness. All were very knowledgable and dynamic. One thing I brought up with each was what they might be planning for 250th anniversaries coming up, especially for 2026. That is only four years away. It was on the radar of each of them.
We also took a guided tour of Christ Church Burial Ground. As you can see in the image above, somewhere along the way over the centuries church officials tore out a portion of the brick wall and replaced it with fencing that allows passersby to see Deborah and Franklin’s headstone from the sidewalk. Christ Church is still an active congregation and, in addition to the ecumenical work, its members have been doing a lot these past twenty years to archive and disseminate their historical records and heritage. That work has included upkeep and tours of the cemetery. You get a sense when you are here of how small a city colonial and revolutionary Philadelphia was. At the time this was considered the outskirts of town, even what we would today call suburbia. Yet it is all within walking distance of Independence Hall.