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Old 03-04-2019, 01:52 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
4,359 posts, read 2,092,724 times
Reputation: 2748

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I put it thus:

Boston is where they lit the fire under the crucible in which the American nation was formed.

Philadelphia is the crucible.

You can't understand how this country came to be by visiting just one of these two cities. If your time and budget allow, you should visit both.

As far as history outside Center City Philadelphia is concerned: At least one poster upthread mentioned the 1777 Battle of Germantown. The central action of the battle is re-enacted on (I think) the second Saturday of October each year on the grounds of Cliveden, the house on whose grounds the battle took place, and if you do visit Philly, I'd suggest you try to time your visit so you can take in the production.

Cliveden is one of several historic houses that are open to the public in Germantown and Mt. Airy, two of the three neighborhoods that together made up the pre-consolidation Germantown Township. (Germantown became a separate borough at two times: around the time of the Revolution and from the 1820s until the city and county of Philadelphia became one in 1854.)

In one of those houses you can learn some history of a different sort, history they have almost none of in Boston: that of the resistance to slavery and the runup to the Civil War. (Don't forget that the Mason-Dixon Line, the shorthand for the border between the North and the South, was surveyed to determine where Pennsylvania ended and Maryland began. Philadelphia was a hotbed of abolitionist activity and a point of conflict, as there was also a significant pro-Southern sentiment in the city.) The Johnson House, one block down Germantown Avenue from Cliveden, was a major stop on the Underground Railroad, and it's been preserved as a memorial to that institution; you will find some other houses here, most of them not turned into museums, that also served as stations. Some of them are marked with Pennsylvania historical markers.*

I live in "Freedom's Backyard" and do recommend it as a side trip on your historical swing through Philadelphia. The website I linked gives you information about all the historic attractions in Germantown and vicinity.

*Pennsylvania's state historical marker program is one of the nation's best and most comprehensive: the blue-and-gold markers commemorate hundreds, even thousands, of events and people large and small, good and bad, and new markers are added every year. It's hard to walk around Center City without running into one - or sometimes more - of these every other block or so. Citizens from all over can nominate events they consider deserving of a marker; among those added last year was one in the 6200 block of Osage Avenue in West Philadelphia's Cobbs Creek section, where the MOVE bombing took place.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission maintains a website explaining the program that includes a searchable database of the more than 2,000 historical markers the state has erected since 1914. Not all remain in the place where they were erected, for some were damaged or stolen, and once that happens, the Commonwealth does not automatically forge a replacement. (Edited to add: That's because the individual markers are paid for with privately raised funds. The PHMC will repair and reinstall lost or damaged markers that are returned to it.)

Last edited by MarketStEl; 03-04-2019 at 02:11 AM..
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Old 03-04-2019, 04:56 PM
 
1,567 posts, read 772,747 times
Reputation: 1212
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
I put it thus:

Boston is where they lit the fire under the crucible in which the American nation was formed.

Philadelphia is the crucible.

You can't understand how this country came to be by visiting just one of these two cities. If your time and budget allow, you should visit both.

As far as history outside Center City Philadelphia is concerned: At least one poster upthread mentioned the 1777 Battle of Germantown. The central action of the battle is re-enacted on (I think) the second Saturday of October each year on the grounds of Cliveden, the house on whose grounds the battle took place, and if you do visit Philly, I'd suggest you try to time your visit so you can take in the production.

Cliveden is one of several historic houses that are open to the public in Germantown and Mt. Airy, two of the three neighborhoods that together made up the pre-consolidation Germantown Township. (Germantown became a separate borough at two times: around the time of the Revolution and from the 1820s until the city and county of Philadelphia became one in 1854.)

In one of those houses you can learn some history of a different sort, history they have almost none of in Boston: that of the resistance to slavery and the runup to the Civil War. (Don't forget that the Mason-Dixon Line, the shorthand for the border between the North and the South, was surveyed to determine where Pennsylvania ended and Maryland began. Philadelphia was a hotbed of abolitionist activity and a point of conflict, as there was also a significant pro-Southern sentiment in the city.) The Johnson House, one block down Germantown Avenue from Cliveden, was a major stop on the Underground Railroad, and it's been preserved as a memorial to that institution; you will find some other houses here, most of them not turned into museums, that also served as stations. Some of them are marked with Pennsylvania historical markers.*

I live in "Freedom's Backyard" and do recommend it as a side trip on your historical swing through Philadelphia. The website I linked gives you information about all the historic attractions in Germantown and vicinity.

*Pennsylvania's state historical marker program is one of the nation's best and most comprehensive: the blue-and-gold markers commemorate hundreds, even thousands, of events and people large and small, good and bad, and new markers are added every year. It's hard to walk around Center City without running into one - or sometimes more - of these every other block or so. Citizens from all over can nominate events they consider deserving of a marker; among those added last year was one in the 6200 block of Osage Avenue in West Philadelphia's Cobbs Creek section, where the MOVE bombing took place.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission maintains a website explaining the program that includes a searchable database of the more than 2,000 historical markers the state has erected since 1914. Not all remain in the place where they were erected, for some were damaged or stolen, and once that happens, the Commonwealth does not automatically forge a replacement. (Edited to add: That's because the individual markers are paid for with privately raised funds. The PHMC will repair and reinstall lost or damaged markers that are returned to it.)
I think everybody from Philly just rubbed one out
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Old 03-04-2019, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Olympia, Washington
1,169 posts, read 642,078 times
Reputation: 1044
I’m from New England and have been to Boston plenty of times. I also lived in the Philly suburbs for a year and have been there many times. Personally I prefer Boston. If you are going in summer and have a car you can also check out the Cape and Providence is also only like an hour away which is cool to check out also.
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Old 03-04-2019, 05:11 PM
 
502 posts, read 213,216 times
Reputation: 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
I put it thus:

Boston is where they lit the fire under the crucible in which the American nation was formed.

Philadelphia is the crucible.

You can't understand how this country came to be by visiting just one of these two cities. If your time and budget allow, you should visit both.

As far as history outside Center City Philadelphia is concerned: At least one poster upthread mentioned the 1777 Battle of Germantown. The central action of the battle is re-enacted on (I think) the second Saturday of October each year on the grounds of Cliveden, the house on whose grounds the battle took place, and if you do visit Philly, I'd suggest you try to time your visit so you can take in the production.

Cliveden is one of several historic houses that are open to the public in Germantown and Mt. Airy, two of the three neighborhoods that together made up the pre-consolidation Germantown Township. (Germantown became a separate borough at two times: around the time of the Revolution and from the 1820s until the city and county of Philadelphia became one in 1854.)

In one of those houses you can learn some history of a different sort, history they have almost none of in Boston: that of the resistance to slavery and the runup to the Civil War. (Don't forget that the Mason-Dixon Line, the shorthand for the border between the North and the South, was surveyed to determine where Pennsylvania ended and Maryland began. Philadelphia was a hotbed of abolitionist activity and a point of conflict, as there was also a significant pro-Southern sentiment in the city.) The Johnson House, one block down Germantown Avenue from Cliveden, was a major stop on the Underground Railroad, and it's been preserved as a memorial to that institution; you will find some other houses here, most of them not turned into museums, that also served as stations. Some of them are marked with Pennsylvania historical markers.*

I live in "Freedom's Backyard" and do recommend it as a side trip on your historical swing through Philadelphia. The website I linked gives you information about all the historic attractions in Germantown and vicinity.

*Pennsylvania's state historical marker program is one of the nation's best and most comprehensive: the blue-and-gold markers commemorate hundreds, even thousands, of events and people large and small, good and bad, and new markers are added every year. It's hard to walk around Center City without running into one - or sometimes more - of these every other block or so. Citizens from all over can nominate events they consider deserving of a marker; among those added last year was one in the 6200 block of Osage Avenue in West Philadelphia's Cobbs Creek section, where the MOVE bombing took place.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission maintains a website explaining the program that includes a searchable database of the more than 2,000 historical markers the state has erected since 1914. Not all remain in the place where they were erected, for some were damaged or stolen, and once that happens, the Commonwealth does not automatically forge a replacement. (Edited to add: That's because the individual markers are paid for with privately raised funds. The PHMC will repair and reinstall lost or damaged markers that are returned to it.)
I disagree that Boston offers no history related to resistance of slavery

https://www.thoughtco.com/five-citie...movement-45413

https://www.google.com/amp/s/boston....t-sites-mapped
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Old 03-04-2019, 06:40 PM
 
Location: (six-cent-dix-sept)
4,297 posts, read 2,149,164 times
Reputation: 2621
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
...
In one of those houses you can learn some history of a different sort, history they have almost none of in Boston: that of the resistance to slavery and the runup to the Civil War...
obviously never seen glory (mass 54th infantry):
https://www.nps.gov/boaf/index.htm
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Old 03-04-2019, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
4,359 posts, read 2,092,724 times
Reputation: 2748
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanley-88888888 View Post
obviously never seen glory (mass 54th infantry):
https://www.nps.gov/boaf/index.htm
I've seen "Glory" and walked past the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial on the Boston Common more times than I care to count, both before and after the Commonwealth added the names of the black Massachusetts residents who fought in the 54th Massachusetts Regiment to the memorial.

But where are the Underground Railroad stations? (I'm sure there were some, but I can't think of any that have been preserved like the Johnson House here, nor do I recall hearing people talk about or point to evidence that their homes in Boston once stashed runaway slaves. Here's one that I wrote about when its owners put it up for sale in 2013.) Did anything like the destruction of Pennsylvania Hall (built by abolitionists as a meeting hall for their activities in the 1830s and torched by an anti-black mob three days after it opened) take place there? Who's Boston's answer to William Still? Where did Henry "Box" Brown ship himself?

I didn't write "Civil War." I wrote "the resistance to slavery and the runup to the Civil War." The 54th Massachusetts ( formed after the shooting started. And yes, I know William Lloyd Garrison published The Liberator in Boston. But the fight over slavery played out more intensely here than there. I didn't say there was no anti-slavery history there, either - I said "almost none." Certainly less than one finds in Philadelphia.
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Old 03-05-2019, 05:40 AM
 
502 posts, read 213,216 times
Reputation: 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
I've seen "Glory" and walked past the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial on the Boston Common more times than I care to count, both before and after the Commonwealth added the names of the black Massachusetts residents who fought in the 54th Massachusetts Regiment to the memorial.

But where are the Underground Railroad stations? (I'm sure there were some, but I can't think of any that have been preserved like the Johnson House here, nor do I recall hearing people talk about or point to evidence that their homes in Boston once stashed runaway slaves. Here's one that I wrote about when its owners put it up for sale in 2013.) Did anything like the destruction of Pennsylvania Hall (built by abolitionists as a meeting hall for their activities in the 1830s and torched by an anti-black mob three days after it opened) take place there? Who's Boston's answer to William Still? Where did Henry "Box" Brown ship himself?

I didn't write "Civil War." I wrote "the resistance to slavery and the runup to the Civil War." The 54th Massachusetts ( formed after the shooting started. And yes, I know William Lloyd Garrison published The Liberator in Boston. But the fight over slavery played out more intensely here than there. I didn't say there was no anti-slavery history there, either - I said "almost none." Certainly less than one finds in Philadelphia.
Lewis and Harriet Hayden house, William Ingersoll Bowditch house, and Jackson homestead were all used as stops for Underground Railroad... philly having more is arguable..Boston having almost none is laughable
https://www.google.com/amp/s/boston....t-sites-mapped

“With more than 20 sites in Beacon Hill, Boston's Black Heritage Trail makes up the largest area of pre-Civil War black owned structures in the United States.

The African Meeting House, the oldest African-American church in the United States, is located in Beacon Hill.”
https://www.thoughtco.com/five-citie...movement-45413

Last edited by Ne999; 03-05-2019 at 06:00 AM..
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Old 03-05-2019, 07:02 AM
 
49 posts, read 9,797 times
Reputation: 67
Also is the Museum of African American History. There's also modern historic sites like Malcolm X's sister's house, and 3 apartments that MLK lived at.
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Old 03-05-2019, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
4,359 posts, read 2,092,724 times
Reputation: 2748
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ne999 View Post
Lewis and Harriet Hayden house, William Ingersoll Bowditch house, and Jackson homestead were all used as stops for Underground Railroad... philly having more is arguable..Boston having almost none is laughable
https://www.google.com/amp/s/boston....t-sites-mapped

“With more than 20 sites in Beacon Hill, Boston's Black Heritage Trail makes up the largest area of pre-Civil War black owned structures in the United States.

The African Meeting House, the oldest African-American church in the United States, is located in Beacon Hill.”
https://www.thoughtco.com/five-citie...movement-45413
Thanks for filling me in. I take back the "almost none" statement.

So once again, there are strong parallels between Philadelphia and Boston in this historical aspect too. I was aware of the African Meeting House, which hadn't been fully refurbished yet when I attended college there. Philadelphia's parallel would be Mother Bethel AME Church at Sixth and Lombard streets. While the building itself is newer (1889), it's the direct descendant of the Free African Society, one of the country's first black religious organizations, and is considered the founding church of the African Methodist Episcopal denomination; the church was established in 1792.

Philadelphia does - or did - have a museum with an extensive collection of Civil War artifacts. But after the Civil War Museum of Philadelphia proved unable to raise funds for a new building to house its collections, they were transferred to a historical foundation in Gettysburg, where some of them are on display. The Gettysburg foundation has a partnership with the National Constitution Center here that is supposed to lead to displays of some of the Civil War Museum's artifacts at the NCC.

(Now that is a distinction, not between Philadelphia and Boston, but between Pennsylvania and Massachusetts: Pennsylvania is the only Northern state to see actual fighting in the Civil War. Maryland, like Missouri, was split in two by the conflict; neither of those two states formally seceded from the Union, but pro-secessionists played hob with both their governments.)

But I do stand by my prior statement that, because it was the closest Northern city to the South and had signifcant ties to that region (most of the South's physicians prior to the war got their educations at Penn's medical school), the fight over slavery and abolition played out more intensely here. As far as I can tell, no one torched an abolitionist meeting hall in Boston.

Now, I'd like to throw out a more obscure historical parallel in the form of a trivia question.

You will find statues honoring the same woman on the grounds of the Massachusetts State House in Boston and the Friends Center / Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends* in Philadelphia. Who is she, and why are there statues commemorating her in both of these locations?

*The Religious Society of Friends, much like the Congregationalist Church in New England, is a bottom-up rather than a top-down organization. The Philadelphia Yearly Meeting is as close to a central governing body for the Quakers as that group has.
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Seminole County, FL
8,698 posts, read 5,989,568 times
Reputation: 10797
Visit West Philadelphia where he was born and raised.
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