Philadelphia’s newest museum includes flint from the first gunshot fired during the war and George Washington’s luggage.
On April 19, the Museum of the American Revolution will open its doors in Philadelphia, a city that was named one of Travel + Leisure’s Best Places to Travel in 2017. The collection has an impressive selection of artifacts from the period leading up to and shortly following the American Revolutionary War, and the museum takes the creation of the U.S. republic and situates it in the broader context of modern politics.
With the success of Broadway smash hit “Hamilton,” many have discovered a newfound passion for some of the familiar characters and chapters of American history. The museum is across from the First National Bank in the Colonial-style building, and will allow visitors from around the world to explore the early history of this nation’s founding.
The tent that served as President George Washington’s command center during the war is the centerpiece of the collection, but the museum has a wealth of hidden gems, from some of the flints used to fire the first shots in the war to two of the original flags used as symbols of the revolution.
The museum also effectively incorporates the narratives of certain groups of people that are often left out of the story of the American Revolution, including women, African-Americans, and the Oneida tribe that supported the cause of independence.
“We’re telling a story that is broader and more populous than the revolution is usually presented,” Scott Stephenson, vice president of collections, told Travel + Leisure.
“It’s usually very much focused on the John Trumbull painting guys, the people in Independence Hall, or just the soldiers, and it’s not a broader story — and that’s what this is supposed to suggest,” he said.
Before your next trip to Philadelphia, take a peek at some of the unusual objects of the collection that tell this familiar story in new ways.