What’s the epicenter of the Revolution?

At least one writer in Boston is a little miffed because Philadelphia will be home to the new Museum of the American Revolution.  Personally, I think Philly is the better option, just because it’s more centrally located and because it was the capital.

Besides, Boston already has so many great early American sites that maybe it’s time to share the love a little.  New England is the only American region I haven’t visited yet, but when I finally go there, it’ll be a multi-week orgy of historical sightseeing the like of which mankind has yet to witness.

This might surprise you, but I think a good third-runner-up home for the museum would be Charleston.  Think about it: Almost one-fifth of all American combat deaths in the war were in South Carolina during the war’s last years, and there were probably more armed clashes there than in any other state with the possible exception of New Jersey.  (My source for these claims is John Gordon’s book on Rev War battles in the Palmetto State.)  Of course, two things you don’t want near your artifacts are humidity and hurricanes, but I’m in favor of anything that will shave a few hours off my drive when this thing opens.



Filed under American Revolution, History and Memory, Museums and Historic Sites

6 responses to “What’s the epicenter of the Revolution?

  1. I agree. Philly is a better spot. I live closer to Philly.

  2. I’m from Boston (well, “Greater Boston”) and even I agree that Philly is a sensible location. The writer says “Not to quibble, but…” Well, this is serious quibbling. Philly makes perfect sense.
    I want to know about the supposed musket used by a “commander” at the Old North Bridge. I wonder whose??

    • Michael Lynch

      I wondered that myself. I’ve seen references to a Concord musket in a few news stories about the museum, but I don’t think any of them have mentioned the owner by name.


  3. Philly is probably the best choice but BOston is without a doubt, if I’ve read the histories right, the “cradle of the revolution,” maybe a close second for the honor.

    • Michael Lynch

      Boston was definitely the center of action from the years leading up to the Revolution through early ’76.


  4. phillybob1776

    The original site for the American Revolution Center was to be a parcel of land on the outskirts of Valley Forge National Historic Park. Part of the reason for that was because the massive collection of artifacts, etc, that is still in storage in the “vault” at VFNHP and because Valley Forge, is one of, perhaps, four name recognition symbols that most American recognize regarding the Revolution. The controversy that ensued, too much to go into in this brief missive, forced a compromise to down-town, or what we locals say, center city Philadelphia. At the risk of appearing to be somewhat mercenary, (I am a part time actor who portrays a variety of historical characters (Sec. of War, General Henry Knox, for the American Historical Theater and Historic Philadelphia Inc.), I believe that Philadelphia is the perfect location. The building will sit across the street from the 1st Bank of United States and only three blocks from the Independence Hall complex, not to mention many other historical buildings and sites. To the average tourist, particularly one who is not a super historical enthusiast, this site will ensure that more will see the museum as opposed to having to travel approximately 25 miles outside the city to see it at Valley Forge. But let us not forget, that Philadelphia was truly the center of the Revolution, politically, and afterwards, for the early Republic. This will be a welcome and profitable addition to Philadelphia.

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