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Museum of the American Revolution

Museum of the American Revolution by Joy of Museums

Museum of the American Revolution

The Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia is a museum dedicated to the story of the American Revolution. The museum has a collection of several thousand objects, including artwork and sculpture, textiles and weapons, manuscripts, and rare books relevant to the American Revolution. The museum also includes specialized exhibition galleries, theaters, and large-scale models of figures representing the story of the American Revolution.

The museum is located in the historic heart of Philadelphia, the city that served a central role in America’s founding. The museum is surrounded by American historical sites such as the First Bank of the United States, Independence Hall, the National Constitution Center, American Philosophical Society, Carpenters’ Hall, and the Liberty Bell.

A Tour of the Museum of the American Revolution

The Museum’s exhibits cover the roots of the 1760s conflict and the rise of armed resistance, the Declaration of independence of 1776, through to the last years of the war. The museum features the diversity of Revolutionary-era Americans and their strong opinions. A dedicated theater houses one of the most iconic surviving artifacts of the Revolution, General Washington’s Headquarters Tent. The Tent served as both Washington’s office and sleeping quarters throughout much of the American Revolutionary War.

Exhibits of the Museum of the American Revolution

  • George Washington’s War Tent
    • One of the most iconic artifacts from the American Revolutionary War is the field tent used by General George Washington as his wartime headquarters. George Washington used it from 1778 – 1783, and it witnessed many historical moments during the War of Independence.
  • Inn Sign from The “General Wolfe” Tavern
    • This Inn Sign hung outside the “General Wolfe” tavern in Brooklyn, Connecticut, before the American Revolution of 1765 – 1783. Images of British heroes played a role in forging the colonialists’ sense of British identity. American place names reflected this British identity. George Washington’s home “Mount Vernon” was named in honor of British Admiral Edward Vernon, a hero of the wars in South America.
  • British Newspaper with a Tax Stamp
    • This British Newspaper bears a Tax Stamp used in the British Isles. The 1765 Stamp Act required documents to be printed on paper that was taxed. An elaborate emblem that included royal symbols was needed to be printed or attached to documents and papers. The paper was stamped in Britain, sent to the colonies and sold by government-appointed officials. The emblem proved that tax had been paid. The American Colonists argued that only their local colonial assemblies could enact such a tax. The Stamp Act was one of the catalysts for the American Revolution.
  • “The March to Valley Forge” by William Brooke Thomas Trego
    • “The March to Valley Forge” by William B. T. Trego depicts George Washington and the veterans of his army limping into their winter encampment in Valley Forge. Valley Forge was the military camp 18 miles (29 km) northwest of Philadelphia, where the American Continental Army spent the winter of 1777–78.
  • Proclamation of Rebellion, August 23, 1775
    • Proclamation of Rebellion from August 23, 1775, was officially titled “A Proclamation for Suppressing Rebellion and Sedition” and was the response of George III of Great Britain to the news of the “Battle of Bunker Hill” at the start of the American Revolutionary War. It declared elements of the American colonies in a state of “open and avowed rebellion.” It ordered officials of the British Empire “to use their utmost endeavors to withstand and suppress such rebellion.” The Proclamation encouraged subjects throughout the Empire, including those in Great Britain, to report anyone carrying on “traitorous correspondence” with the rebels so that they could be punished.
  • Proclamation by William Howe, General, and Commander-in-Chief
    • This Proclamation by William Howe, General, and Commander-in-Chief, was an appeal to the American loyalists for help. British strategists believed that the Revolutionaries were in a minority of the population and that the Loyalists would flock to support the King.
  • “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine
    • “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine was written in 1775–76 as a pamphlet advocating for the independence of the Thirteen Colonies. Paine used persuasive moral and political arguments to encourage the ordinary people in the Colonies to fight for an equal government. It was published anonymously at the beginning of the American Revolution and became an immediate bestseller. Paine connected independence with common Protestant beliefs to present a distinctly American political identity, structuring Common Sense as if it were a sermon.
  • “Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral” by Phillis Wheatley
    • “Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral” by Phillis Wheatley is a collection of 39 poems written by the first African-American to ever be published. Published in 1773, she was a Negro Servant to Mr. John Wheatley, of Boston, in New England. Phillis Wheatley broke barriers as the first American black woman poet to be published, opening the door for future black authors. She is also the first in order of time of all the women poets of America. And she is among the first female American poets to issue a book of Poems.

Tips for Visiting the Museum of the American Revolution

  • Purchase a City Pass in advance to avoid lines and queues.
  • The Museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
  • The Museum is located at 101 South Third Street, Philadelphia, PA, at the corner of 3rd and Chestnut Streets.
  • The Museum offers self-checking for coats and lockers for personal items and baggage.
  • The Museum allows guests to carry small bags and backpacks in the galleries.
  • There are several parking garages located within a mile from the Museum.

Museum of the American Revolution

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Reflections

  • A modern Museum packed with historical artifacts.
  • An excellent chronological journey of the American Revolution.
  • Immersive gallery experiences with full-scale replicas.
  • General Washington’s Headquarters Tent is presented as a theater experience.
  • Interesting Museum Shop for US History devotees.
  • If you’re into the American Revolution or the musical “Hamilton,” this is the museum for you.

Museum Highlights

  • George Washington’s War Tent
  • Original proclamation and newspapers from the period.
  • Military equipment from both sides of the conflict
  • Washington’s Silver camp cups from his field equipment
  • Wartime correspondence and books
  • Various flags from the American Revolution
  • Paintings showing incidence from the American Revolution
  • Soldiers’ letters and books

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“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
– Benjamin Franklin

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Photo Credit: JOM