The Farrells

The Farrells
Matt, Nicki, Owen and Nora live in the San Francisco Bay area. Matt is a research analyst at CBRE and is loving his job. Nicki spends her time playing with Owen and Nora, reading, crafting, and taking lots of pictures. Owen loves to read, sing, throw toys, and quote movies. Nora is growing quickly and loves to be the center of attention. We have a wonderful life!

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Revolutionary War Historical Sites

We made a quick stop at Morristown, New Jersey on our way to Karen's house in Pennsylvania. Morristown is where George Washington and his troops spent the winter of 1779-80. Washington and his officers stayed in the Ford Mansion in Morristown while the majority of the troops built a cabin city about 5 miles outside town on the Wick farm. Though the winter at Valley Forge has been remembered because of the high number of deaths among the troops, the winter at Morristown actually had more severe weather, and the troops had very little to eat. Their experience at Valley Forge had taught them how to build a more sanitary camp, however, so despite the harsher conditions, fewer men died at Morristown than at Valley Forge.

Our second Revolutionary War site was Federal Hall in New York City (on Wall Street in NYC). This is where George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the United States, and the building served as the first capitol of the United States until about a year and a half later when the capitol was moved to Philadelphia. The building that stands there now was built after the original Federal Hall fell into disrepair and was demolished. The new building was used as a customs house and federal treasury.

A room in the Ford Mansion where Washington's officers slept. Officers slept in the camp beds, which had stuffed mattresses and canopies for warmth.

The bedroom where Washington (and Martha Washington, when she came to visit) slept.

Washington's personal office in the Ford Mansion.

Front view of the Ford Mansion.

A view of what the soldier's cabins would have looked like. Each cabin slept 12 men.

Unlike Valley Forge, the Morristown cabins were built on hills. This meant that rainwater ran past the cabins to lower ground, and did not puddle in the cabins. Standing water spread disease at Valley Forge and was responsible for many deaths.

An officer's cabin - each side served as a personal bedroom for an officer.

Inside one of the real cabins.

This won't be a surprise for anyone from the East Coast, but the forests there are very different from those in the west - because the trees let so much light to the forest floor, the floor is much more densely packed with plants and bushes. This is part of the reason Washington chose to station his troops in this area - this forest would have been very difficult for an invading army to hack through quickly.

Federal Hall, New York City.

George Washington, standing in about the spot where he was inaugurated.

Inside Federal Hall. The doors to the right and left of the columns were the entry into the vaults where money was stored.

This stone was taken out of the balcony where George Washington would have stood during his inauguration.

A diorama of what the original Federal Hall looked like during the inauguration.

Close-up of George Washington taking the oath of office.

I had fun going to these sites - you don't get a whole lot of cool old places like this in the west with so much history behind them. 

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