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The President's House
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From History to Happy Hour Philadelphia Walking Tour
Jacksonville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
87 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed September 23, 2013

I don't recall this spot from my visits as a kid but this tiny little corner of the park is chock full of history. Very nice complement to the other historical sites in the area.

Visited September 2013
Thank calinjaxnc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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40 reviews from our community

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English first
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
39 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Well done but wish it was more”
Reviewed August 21, 2013

This is not so much a telling of the lives of George Washington and John Adams, who both lived as Presidents at this site, but rather it provides information on Washington and his slaves. A lot of information. I truly appreciate this knowledge and view it as a vital piece of information but wish I could have walked away with more knowledge about George and John and their lives at the first president's house to get a full historical picture. If they wanted to, they could have at least done a bang-up job on John Adams who never owned slaves. The good part is it is outdoors so you can stop by and learn after all other historical sites are closed. I think we were there at 9:30 p.m. learning what the makers decided we needed to know.

Visited August 2013
Thank LoriL3020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ridgewood, New Jersey
Level Contributor
1,517 reviews
836 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,677 helpful votes
“Archealogical dig”
Reviewed May 21, 2013

This exhibit basically boils down to an archaelogical dig with interpretative commentary focused on the slaves who lived in the house. I found the histories of those slaves to be fascinating, both before and after they dwelled in the house. You will pass its location as you walk through the national park area of the historic center of the old city. Stop and read the interpretive placques and take a look at the foundations of the house which is all that remains at this point.

Visited May 2013
3 Thank LWL3333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
202 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Must see early US history and slavery exhibit”
Reviewed May 7, 2013

This site displays information about the first "White House", home of the first two Presidents when Philadelphia was the Nation's Capital.
Primary purpose of the display is to highlight George Washington's 9 slaves that served him and Martha at this site. The video screens give a flavor for what being a slave for the President must have been like.
Other reviewers have already outlined many of the historical information in quite a lot of detail.
Well worth the few minutes it takes to visit en route to see the adjacent Liberty Bell or the nearby Independence Hall.
Site is also spectactularly lit up at night.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank Nick C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
75 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“An attraction that requires further research to be fully appreciated.”
Reviewed February 15, 2013

This is an outdoor exhibit built over the original foundation of The President's House. I found this very interesting from an archeological prospective. I would have expected to see some artifacts that would have belonged in the house, information about lifestyle during the period, etc. This entire exhibit was dedicated to the slaves that Washington kept during his time in Philadelphia.

This exhibit presents information that was not readily available to some of us in school and has led me to further research topics such as Slavery in Pennsylvania and An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery of 1780. I encourage others to research these topics and visit The President's House as I'm sure different people will have different perspectives on these topics.

Things to keep in mind, while Pennsylvania was one of the first states to have anti-slavery laws, at this time period, we were not a unified country. Each state had its own laws. Washington considered himself a Virginia resident who was only living in Pennsylvania because of his job. He would remove himself, as well as his slaves, from PA during each 6 month period in order to maintain his status as a Virginia resident.

While I am not defending slavery in any way, are we not holding Washington to a higher standard than others during this same period? Not only is it documented that others used the exact same tactics that Washington used to keep his slaves from being declared free, but he was instructed to do so by his lawyer. I think by focusing just on Washington we're doing an injustice to the topic of Slavery and Slave rights. We should be showing how widespread of an issue this was to show the full impact on those involved.

While I feel that this is an important historical topic, I feel it could have been told without blaming Washington specifically. I would have liked to see a deeper presentation on this topic covering the practices and laws in the varying states at the time that would mention Washington as an example. Instead, this exhibit took away from the true nature of the location, one of the first Presidential Residences of our nation's history.

Visited February 2013
2 Thank TaleofGenji
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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