Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Weekend in Philly

I spent the weekend in Philadelphia. My girlfriend had a conference there and I tagged along. We went on a trolley tour of Valley Forge on Saturday. The tour guide was very knowledgeable. Other than the fact that the city bus driver skipped the Valley Forge stop at the end of the day, it was a fun day. SEPTA [bus company] came through nicely. A supervisor was sent to pick up the stranded.

I wandered around Independence Mall for awhile on Sunday, scouting out stops for our Tuesday sight-seeing. Philly had a heat index of 105 degrees.* I lasted about 4 hours.

My Monday mission was to do a little research at the Free Library of Philadelphia [the Historical Society of PA was closed.] The library at 19th & Vine is very impressive! Unfortunately, the genealogy resources are a bit scant and the family histories are in the closed stacks.

Tuesday was a good day. The heat wasn't nearly as bad as the previous three days. We took in Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell Pavilion, Congress Hall, Elfreth Alley, the Betsy Ross House, and the Philadelphia Mint. We took in the films at the Independence Visitors Center and a 360 film at one of the Franklin sites. While taking photos near Carpenters Hall, we encountered Col. Daniel Morgan, who was preparing to attempt  to recruit soldiers for Gen. Washington. We had a very interesting discussion of his achievements up to the current day [this being 1779, not 2016]. Col. Morgan was a bit miffed that Anthony Wayne was given the command of the Light Infantry due to his being held prisoner after the Invasion of Canada failed. We discussed my Edward Prall, serving with Smallwood's Marylanders. Morgan had nothing but praise for Benedict Arnold, especially his heroics on the Canadian campaign. [Remember, 1779 - the West Point treason was away off yet.] That was really fun!

*I was last in the Philly area in 1993 for the Freedoms Foundation Revolutionary War in the Delaware Valley workshop. The region was in the throws of a record-setting string of days in the mid to high 90s. They must save the heat for me!

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