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New This Week (Dec. 10, 2013)

This week’s additions to our document collections highlight the meaning of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell during the nineteenth century:

  • Officials from Boston and Philadelphia exchanged welcoming speeches in the Hall of Independence in 1854, when the Bostonians came to Philadelphia on a tour to inspect lunatic asylums. [link to document]
  • Newspapers in New Orleans and Philadelphia had vastly different reactions to remarks by Jefferson Davis during the Liberty Bell’s travels to New Orleans in 1885.  The illustration with these documents presents the Liberty Bell as a symbol of meaning for African Americans who had experienced slavery. [link to documents]

New this week (Dec. 1, 2013)

This week’s additions to the Independence Hall in American Memory website include:

  • Case study for teaching: Architecture, Preservation, and Memory [link]
  • Links to teaching resources [link]
  • Document: Workingmen’s demonstration, 1836 [link]
  • Document: Liberty for Europe demonstration (attended also by African Americans), 1848 [link]
  • Documents: Newspaper editorials criticizing the condition of Independence Hall, 1836 [link]
  • Timeline links to documents and external websites [link]

How Did the Hall Gets Its Name?

This week our online documents collection has grown with the addition of news accounts and other primary sources from the Marquis de Lafayette’s visit to Independence Hall in 1824. As Philadelphians prepared to honor the “nation’s guest,” they began to refer to the east room in the old Pennsylvania State House as the Hall of Independence — beginning a transition to the name “Independence Hall” for the building where independence was declared in 1776 and where the Constitutional Convention met in 1787.  For teachers and researchers interested in this topic, primary sources from the work of the Lafayette Reception Committee are in the collections of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.