Thursday, September 27, 2012

Standing Trial

You "stand trial" because back in the day you literally stood trial. This lovely platform (ok, cage... there is no other way to put it) was where the defendant stood during trial during early American history.

Not the most comfortable situation I must add.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Gouveneur of the Constitution

Everyone knows who wrote the Declaration of Independence: Thomas Jefferson. But does anyone know who wrote much of the United States Constitution? I certainly didn’t know who this was before I visited Independence Hall.

Gouveneur Morris.

Gouveneur Morris was born January 31, 1752, and represented Pennsylvania at the Convention in Philadelphia in 1787. He was also the author of most of the Constitution; it is believed the phrase “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union” came from him.

His role at the convention was a high point for Morris. He avoided being blunt and sarcastic, and instead employed his considerable social and verbal skills to smooth over issues that threatened to divide the delegates. He then used his position as primary draftsman to strengthen the final version of the Constitution much as Jefferson did with the Declaration of Independence. He defended the positions he took when drafting the New York constitution: religious liberty, opposition to slavery, the right of property as the foundation of society, the rule of law and the consent of the governed as the basis of government.

Check out this link to read more about him. Honestly, Gouveneur was a fun man to learn about, and it was exciting to learn something new while visiting Independence Hall.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Chair

In the entire room filled with furniture, this chair is the only original piece of furniture remaining from the Founding Fathers. In fact, the ink well in front isn’t even original; that original is actually in a display case pictured below.

Think about who could have sat in this chair… it’s a pretty amazing thought really. And while you’re at it, think about this most important room where the Founding Fathers met twice, the first to declare independence from England, the then world power, and a second time to create a second government for the newly formed country.

And with an upcoming election, and already heightened political coverage on TV, I think we need to remember what those Founding Fathers did when they created the government we now have as a country, and just how amazing that country is.