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Princeton and its surrounding towns boast some sites that will transport the traveler to the times of the American Civil War and of the Declaration of Independence. Three museums that will take you to this trip along American history are:
- The Old Barracks Museum. Located on Barrack Street in Trenton, the museum takes you to the times of the Declaration of Independence focusing on the decisive Battles of Trenton. It includes paintings featuring these battles and the Battle of Princeton. As well, it features firearms, Colonial and Federal furniture, china, silver and an extensive archive with historic documents and fictional first-person life stories.
- The Morven Museum and Garden dates from 1750 when it was built by Richard Stockton, who signed the Declaration of Independence. The house and garden are national historic landmarks and part of New Jersey's heritage. The Museum features different conferences, events and tours that include Wednesday Tour and Tea, Friends of Morven Plant Sale Preview, Morven in May Garden Party and the Festival of Trees.
- Dating from 1719, the William Trent House Museum is Trenton's oldest house. Explore Colonial times and learn about the role of the house in Independence Days. The Museum operates several programs to make history accessible to kids and adults: Trent House school programs: Colonial Kids for Schools and Sandbox Archeology, and tours for children and adults. Check out the museum’s website (a nice feature: it is in English and Spanish) at http://www.williamtrenthouse.org.
A fourth museum offers collections among the finest of any university museum in the world. Founded in 1882, the Princeton University Art Museum boasts collections whose origins date to the 1750s, when what was then the College of New Jersey began collecting art. Now numbering moew than 72,000 objects spanning 5,000 years of world history and most of the world's major cultures, the collections feature iconic paintings from American history, including Charles Willson Peale's portrait of George Washington at the battle of Princeton, in which historic Nassau Hall (the nation's oldest continuously used academic building) is visible in the background.