North Carolina History Center at Tryon Palace

  • Edward Rothstein, who has been writing reviews of museums and exihibitions for The New York Times for several years, looks at the $60 million North Carolina History Center at Tryon Palace (See NY Times 6-Aug-2011). Under review is not only the Center, which Rothstein considers to be quite well done, but the changing fashion of recreated history in the last 20 years. As historical homes such as Tryon Palace drew fewer and fewer visitors, visitor centers were built becoming not just the gateways to the major historical homes, but, at times, their rivals, offering new expositions and elaborate genuflections to contemporary tastes.
JDN | 6-Aug-2011

The French years provided Franklin’s detractors precisely what they needed: proof that the ur-American was un-American. Franklin was the Founding Father who had come the furthest, which makes him today the most compelling; he was also the Founding Father who traveled the farthest, which in his own century made him the most suspect. Few other homes in Philadelphia sported both Réaumur and Fahrenheit thermometers. The story goes that when Franklin proposed that Congress open its meetings with a prayer, Alexander Hamilton quipped that that body had no need of foreign aid. The story may be apocryphal but the sentiment was real. The expatriate patriot, Franklin was associated in many minds with the dependent chapter of American independence, one better expunged from the record.

Stacy Schiff
A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America (2005)