On Jan. 29, 2010 my son David and his dear wife Margie took me to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania so I could visit the sights where America’s history was made.
Independence Hall was very moving. Knowing these men of honor had once stood in this very building where I then stood caused me to ponder. I thought of what they went through before, during and after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and how afterwards they suffered for their actions. Taking this tremendous step in history caused many to lose all they had, with some even their own lives.
With the efforts of all true-blue-patriots our nation grew out of turmoil into one blessed by God, and looked upon as a defender of human rights, and liberty throughout the world.
To the left is the court room. Those who were on trial would stand within a *cage that is located to the far right of the photo. Being it made them to appear to be guilty, even if they were innocent, this practice was soon discontinued.
Independence Hall, Philadelphia, PA
With every rebellion and new nation there must be a flag, a standard and emblem for all to see. For our first flag they called upon a seamstress named Mrs. Betsy Ross. To the right you’ll find a picture of her humble home. She worked tirelessly to support her children in the absence of her husband, and soon as a widow.
Before being commissioned she was well-known for mastering the art of designing beautiful clothing, thus giving her the skills needed for the task at hand in making our first flag.
She also possessed the skill of reupholstering furniture and late at night you would find her in the basement pouring hot lead into molds to form balls needed for the rebellion. This gave her the name of the Little Rebel.
Compare the photo of her home to that in the painting of Betsy. You see her presenting the finished flag to our forefathers. I’m sure if Betsy could see this painting she would be saying, “I do wish this had been the case. However, I daresay that my whole home, all three stories of it, could have easily fit into that one room.”
* The sun was shining so brightly through the window thus making it difficult to get much of the cage within the shot. I'm very sorry.
Within this room is where our nation was born.
Many conversations were held here. Surely some of the tempers may well have been hotter than the food being served.
Never knowing when they may have to defend themselves, arms had to always stay close and ready for use.
Mrs. Betsy Ross
On the evening of Jan. 31st, 2010, I was taken back when first seeing the Statue of Liberty, our own Lady Liberty. Yes, I stood there in the freezing cold. Ice was floating about as the boat’s motor churned the water as we headed for Ellis Island. It was too late to see them both, so I chose to tour the island. As we pulled up to dock I couldn’t help but notice the size of the facility and that it extends off far toward the left.
My mind went on its own journey as if I were one of the new immigrants.. Arriving in this strange world of the unknown is discomforting. You see, uniforms scared the immigrants. In their homeland men wearing uniforms were to be feared. And all they saw were people in uniforms.
I walked through the same threshold as they did when entering the building. But unlike them I knew where I was going once leaving. With them this was not always the case. Some had families who were waiting for them with arms ready to embrace them. However, most had no one.
There wasn’t even a guarantee that they would pass the rigid medical and mental exams. Some of these exams were pretty barbaric. Those that didn’t pass were swiftly placed on ships to return back to where they had come from.
One of the exams was to see if they had any diseases of the eyes. I'm sure if they didn't before this exam they must have later on. The instruments used were nothing else than a buttonhook used to latch on shoes. Many of you read about them in the first copy of Jeanetta Lynn Parker and the Birth of a Nation. Could you imagine how it must have felt to have your eyelids lifted up and out so a doctor could see under the lid? OUCH!!!!
The ships arrived packed with immigrants with barely enough room to turn around. Today through the use of phones and headphones you can hear the true stores as told by those who had lived them.
One little girl remembered how the people smelled from a lack of bathing. A little boy tells of how his mother. She had worked for over a year on a new outfit for him and a dress of lace for herself. She had wanted them to look their best as they arrived in America. Only the experience was so unnerving that all she could do was cry.
One young boy told of the dining room, and how it was beautifully set. As he looked through the glass door he couldn’t wait to go in and eat. Though when the door was opened the adults and teens rushed in, and were grabbing at the food. If he had wanted anything to eat he had to be fast.
Another little girl had lost her coat. A lady from a charity brought her into a room where she was able to try on several coats, however, none of them were her's, and not one of them fit. As she slipped on the last one you couldn’t see her hands and it hung down almost to her shoes. She was almost in tears as she was told, “At least you won’t be cold.” This may well be true, but she wanted her own, warm coat.
Not all of the memories were bad, and there were many who found the experience wonderful, such as when Caruso sang to them at Christmas time. “I can still hear him today,”recalls an older woman.
Far too soon it was time for me to leave the island with my family, and return to shore. When finding out that we weren’t at least going around the Statue of Liberty, I quickly ran to the back of the boat, and without taking close aim, I took a picture. I wanted one to remember her by. As I stood there my children could see the longing I had, one that couldn’t be filled. It too was captured on film.
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
Yep, I'm wearing almost the same clothing, and STILL FREEZING!! I doubt if I would have made a willing patriot or pioneer back then as I huddled next to the fire longing to be warm.
Two sweaters, a long-sleeved blouse, leather jacket and down coat, and I’M STILL FREEZING!!!
Far Left: With escalators nowadays I wasn’t near ready for this long climb, but God willing I made it.
And I'm NOT one of them.
Here's my son David and his wife Margie. As you can see they aren't freezing. Hmmm, food for thought!!! Well, back to the tour.
Money was exchanged into the American dollar.
The Liberty Bell cracked on its first ring by the clapper. There were those back then who felt this was a bad omen, one foretelling that our country would also fail. But it has proven to be a strong and wonderful nation, one to be proud of.
The Liberty Bell
The Liberty Bell is a standard for Americans. And may it always ring out loudly for truth, justice, and liberty for all.
The 76 House is located at 110 Main Street, Tappan, New York, next to New Jersey.
When walking through the door of the old 76 House, you are instantly swept back in time. Back when our nation was still under the rule of King George III of England. Most everything is as it was back then, from the exterior brick, crooked chimney, entry door, plank flooring, and the fireplaces.
As soon as you step inside you will see two Revolutionary war uniforms and a lady's dress. One uniform is red and the other is blue. And get this; the blue uniform is the REAL THING!!!!!
I couldn’t get over the real uniform, as I stood in front of it. All I had to do is step closer for a better look. There were no velvet ropes keeping me at bay, and no guards telling me to step back because I had come too close. They were there and it wasn’t a dream!!!!
The blue uniform on display seemed as if it were waiting for its owner to return to put it on. I stepped closer and gently ran my fingers over the fabric and the coolness of the metal buttons. I lifted up a sleeve and lightly felt of the braid and then the lace at the neck . . . I was finding it difficult to believe that it all was REAL!
The maitre d' walked up and escorted us to a far table in the dining room, located to the right of an active fireplace. There was a long rifle standing next to it. Above the hearth are three paintings. One of them is of the traitor Benedict Arnold, and one other purposely turned upside-down. More about him later.
Each of the tables was beautifully set with white tablecloths and napkins, and a lit candle in the middle.
The food is wonderful, the service is grand, and the paramount of the evening for me was when Robert, the owner, came to our table and told us of the history of the 76 House. This truly was a time and dinner to remember.
Click on the soldier
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However, you will have to
come back on your own being there is no return tab once you are on their website.
The 76 House in the evening.
The Dining Room.
Plates found at the 76 House
You can see the chimney that is leaning toward the right.
Above is the hearth with the traitors Major John André and Major General Benedict Arnold's pictures. The one of Major John André is turned upside-down on purpose.
Oh yes, as a lady I have to tell you this. I had ran out of hairspray, so please excuse my bad-hair-day.
As soon as I can obtain some good photos of the uniforms and dress I'll include them here.
There is an area that can be used for any number of occasions.
Tomorrow is Feb. 6, 2010, and sad to say that my vacation is coming to a close. In the morning I’ll be flying back home to Oregon. I’ll miss my son and his wife, and will always remember their kindness as they took me from place to place. With each sight I marveled at the history that surrounded it, and felt blessed to be there. Up until now I had only known about these sights on the Internet and movies. rfom here on they will be in my mind’s eye as I write my stories. But now I can say that I’ve actually been there. I ask you, how cool is that?
Thank you for stopping by and I do hope you enjoyed your stay. May God go with you and with America.
Your friend, Dorene J. Stamper
Now on to the last stop of my adventure.
Here again is my son David and his lovely wife Margie.
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The 76 House
Please take the time to go and visit these places of American history and interest, for they are well worth the trip. And when visiting the 76 House please tell the owner that you read about them on my website. No, it won't get you anything for free, and no I'm not being paid to send you there. I just want them to know how much I appreciated visiting them, and that I still remember that night.