Charles Willson Peale, despite his devotion to the taxonomic and contemplative majesty of the natural world, nevertheless loved novelties and used all sorts of amusements to attract customers to his museum. He eventually resorted to hiring a popular musical performer who played five different instruments simultaneously, using all parts of his body. Following Peale’s death the museum passed into the enterprising hands of P. T. Barnum, becoming part of his traveling circus — a romantic ending for an Enlightenment institution.
Exeter, NH — The museum focuses on the Revolution, colonial life, the Ladd, Gilman, and Folsom families.
Philadelphia, PA — Founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin and John Bartram to promote
Useful Knowledge.Philosophical Hall (1789) is now a museum featuring art, scientific instruments, rare books, original manuscripts, natural history specimens, and curiosities.
PA — 11 September 1777.
New York, NY — 16 November 1776.
PA — 4 October 1777.
New York, NY — 16 September 1776.
NY — 27 August 1776.
NJ — 28 June 1778.
Princeton, NJ — 3 January 1777.
NJ — 26 December 1776 (Second Battle of Trenton, 2 January 1777).
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)