Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA about 1892


INDEPENDENCE HALL, PHILADELPHIA — Plain and old-fashioned among many new and imposing edifices, like a modest Quaker dress amid the fashionable toilets of a ball-room, stands the historic structure, known as Independence Hall. But what priceless memories does it not contain, like jewels in a well-worn casket! Here we may see the very room in which the Continental Congress met, and where, on the fourth of July, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted, signed and proclaimed to the people gathered in the adjoining square. The walls of this room are lined with portraits of many of the patriotic signers of that Declaration, and there are still preserved the table and many of the chairs used by the Deputies. Opposite this is another room of equal size filled with most interesting souvenirs of those heroic days. Among these are articles of furniture used by Washington, Lafayette, Benjamin Franklin and John Hancock. Letters, swords, articles of wearing apparel and authentic portraits also vividly recall to us the patriots who were not found wanting “in the times that tried men’s souls.” There also is the heavy framework on which the famous “Liberty Bell” was originally hung, and in the corridor of the building one may still see the historic bell itself, now cracked and voiceless, but eloquent in the memories which it awakens of the days, when, first of all the bells in the United States, its tones rang out in joyous peals, announcing the adoption of the Declaration, and proclaiming “Liberty throughout the land to all the inhabitants thereof.” In “Congress Hall,” an apartment in the second story of this building, Washington delivered his farewell address. (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)

Independence Hall is where both the United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted. It is now the centerpiece of the Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The building was completed in 1753 as the colonial legislature (later Pennsylvania State House) for the Province of Pennsylvania. It became the principal meeting place of the Second Continental Congress from 1775 to 1783 and was the site of the Constitutional Convention in the summer of 1787. The building is part of Independence National Historical Park and is listed as a World Heritage Site. (from Wikipedia)


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