The Revolutionary leaders never intended to create an original and peculiar indigenous culture. Despite all their talk of American exceptionalism and American virtue in contrast with European corruption, they were seeking not to cut themselves off from Europe’s cultural heritage but to embrace it and in fact to fulfill it. It is a mistake to view America’s post-Revolutionary emulation of Europe as a legacy of helpless dependence passed on from colonial days. Americans imitated European styles and forms not because in their naïveté they could nothing else but because they wanted to.... Their revolution was very much an international affair, an attempt to fulfill the cosmopolitan dreams of the Enlightenment.
Newport, RI — Completed in 1739, it was the state house of Rhode Island until 1901.
Saunderston, RI — This restored house, built in 1750, was the birthplace of painter Gilbert Stuart.
Newport, RI — Built 1748—54 and considered one of the ten best colonial homes existing in the U.S.
Washington, DC — Contains historical portraits, including works by John Trumbull, Gilbert Stuart, John Singleton Copley, Mather Brown, and others.
Philadelphia, PA — Founded by Charles Willson Peale, William Rush, and others in 1805, this is the oldest art museum/school in the U.S. Includes works by Charles Willson Peale, William Rush, Benjamin West, Rembrandt Peale, Gilbert Stuart, and Thomas Sully.
Newport, RI — Chartered in 1747 and opened to the public in 1750, it is the oldest circulating library in the U.S.
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)