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.
Philadelphia, PA — Completed in 1770, this Georgian building was the meeting place of the First Continental Congress in 1774.
Philadelphia, PA — Site of the Second Continental Congress and of the signing of the Declaration of Independence; access is available through a Park Ranger tour.
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)