A VISIT TO THE KING MANOR MUSEUM

Not many Americans know of Rufus King and his family, but they should .

Not many New Yorkers know of him, either and they definitely should .

Rufus King was one of the members of the Continental Congress , which met in Philadelphia right after the Revolutionary War .

You might say that he was one of “the Founding Fathers ” as he also signed the constitution as a member of the New York delegation.

He was a United States senator and an ambassador to Great Britain under three presidents, Washington , Adams and Jefferson .

He was an outspoken critic against slavery.

The house, which is now a museum, was the home of Rufus, his wife, Mary, and their five sons, one of which became the governor of New York .

The house, which began as a farmhouse , was brought in 1805 by Rufus.

It stayed in the family until 1896, when his granddaughter , Cornelia , died.

The city of New York took over the property and in 1900, the house became a museum .

There is a guided tour of the house, which I advise that you take, as the guides are friendly and very knowledgeable about the house and the family .

You’ll see artifacts that the family did actually use such as the piano in the parlor , which still works.

You’ll also see the delicate and very elegant tea set that belonged to Elizabeth King , another granddaughter of Rufus.

Her portrait is on the second floor of the house as is the drawing room belonging to her uncle John who was the governor of New York .

The house is decorated in period pieces, even the kitchen.

While I did enjoy looking at how the servants prepared food, my favorite room had to be the dining room, where the Kings probably entertained guests .

There’s even a portrait of Mary hanging in the dining room which should tell you who exactly was the boss of the house, and it wasn’t Rufus.

There is a suggested admission price of $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and students, but the main focus of this museum is for you to experience a time in history that you thought you knew about, but realky didn’t .

The museum also has lectures , which are free to the public.

The museum is easily accessible by taking the E train and getting off at the last stop, Jamaica Center and Archer Avenue .

From there , you walk down to 153th Street and Jamaica Avenue.

The museum is right there , in the middle of Rufus King Park.

What is now Rufus King Park used to be part of King Manor as well.

It was that big .

King Manor Museum

Rufus King Park

Jamaica Avenue and 153rd Street

Jamaica , Queens, New York

Monday – Friday 12pm -2pm

Saturday – Sunday 1pm – 5pm

The museum is opened from February until December and closed the entire month of January .

REVOLUTIONARY  TALES  –  BOSTON ,  MASSACHUSETTS .  SAYING HELLO  TO  PAUL REVERE . 

The North  End  of  Boston  is known  for  its  many Italian  restaurants ,  bakeries, Gelato stands, and Italian  Grocery stores . 

It’s  known  as  “Boston ‘ s Little  Italy . ”

It wasn’t  always  this way in this neighborhood . 

The North End was the birthplace  of  Rose Fitzgerald  Kennedy ,  mother of  JFK . 

The  North  End at one time was mostly  Irish . 

It was also the home of  another famous  Bostonian, Paul Revere . 

As you walk down the red brick road known as The Freedom  Trail ,  you’ll  come across  two landmarks  synonymous  with Paul  Revere . 

The Old North  Church, where he hung two lanterns warning  the colonists  if the British were coming by land or sea , is the first stop.

Since he hung two lanterns, the colonists  knew the British  were coming  by sea to invade Boston . 

You can still see the Old North  Church  just as it was way back in Revolutionary  War  times.

Next stop is to the Paul Revere  Mall, which isn’t  a  shopping  center.

It’s  like the  National  Mall  in Washington ,  DC ,  except  here in Boston ,  there’s  only one monument  on the mall.

One HUGE STATUE !

It’s  the  statue of  Paul Revere  on his horse, riding  throughout  the  city to give colonists  even more information about  the  invasion ,  and also to warn the two colonial  leaders in town, John Hancock  and Samuel  Adams . 

(Yeah, just like the beer. There really  was a Samuel  Adams . )

Forget  what you  learned in the history  books . 

Revere did NOT say, “The British  are coming  “.

There was no United  States  of  America  at that time ,  so EVERYONE at that time  in this country  considered  themselves  British . 

What  Revere did say as he rode through  the  streets  of  Boston   was “The Red Coats are coming.”

Being the big selfie  nut that you are, don’t  even try to  get a selfie with this statue . 

It’s  not going  to  happen . 

This statue is way too  big!

There’s  so many people  walking  around  as this isn’t  only a major tourist  attraction  in Boston ,  but a very vibrant  neighborhood . 

You’re  bound to find someone  willing to take a  picture  of  you and Paul Revere.

Enjoy your time in the city and say hello  to  Paul Revere if you come to the  North  End.

REVOLUTIONARY  TALES  –  BOSTON ,  MASSACHUSETTS  –  VISITING  THE  BIRTHPLACE OF  AMERICAN  LIBERTY  

Once again ,  I  took a  side trip  from Boston  to a city  that  I  didn’t  think  I  could  get  to  by  public  transportation . 

All those  years  I lived  in  Boston ,  the  city  of  Lexington  was never  on my  radar or bucket  list . 

As an American  History  major  in college ,  though ,  the city that calls  itself ,  ”  The  Birthplace  of  American  History  ” should  have  been  a city  that  I should  have  visited  more than  once . 

As I got off the bus , I wondered  why  I  never came here when I was younger.

Lexington ,  Massachusetts  is one of  those  quaint  New England  towns with the square  right in the middle  of town.

This square  in Lexington  isn’t  just  any old square . 

This square  happens  to  be  known  as  “Battle  Green  “, and it’s  one of  the  most famous squares in American  History . 

It’s  where the first battle  of the Revolutionary  War  took place on April  19, 1775.

It was called, “The Shot Heard ‘Round  The World . ‘.

There’s  Revolutionary  War history  all around and you don’t  even realize  it . 

In front of  you ,  there’s  Buckman  Tavern ,  which  was the  headquarters  for the  American  Militia . 

The militia  was made up of  townspeople  and even slaves, all of whom were fighting  for freedom  from England . 

From my American  History  books, I  recognize  the  statue of  “The Minuteman  “, citizens  who were ready in “a minute’s  notice  ” to defend their  homes.

The statue is actually  of William  Parker, who was the  commander of the American  citizen soldiers . 

History  never told us who fired the first  shot of the war, not that it really ,matters.

Who ever thought  that this quaint  little  town not that far from Boston  would  be  the birthplace  of  American  Liberty  and not some big city like Philadelphia  or New York . 

LIBERTY TALES – PHILADELPHIA , PENNSYLVANIA – VISITING THE MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION .

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Philadelphia  is  known  for  just  as  many  museums  as  New  York  City .

Everyone  knows  about  all  the  historical  museums  in  the  city  as  well  as  the  Liberty  Bell  and  Independence  Hall .

I recently  visited  Philadelphia  and  went  into  the  newest  museum  in  the  city .

It’s  called  the  Museum  of  the  American  Revolution  and  it  opened  on  April  19th  of  this  year ,  which  just  happens  to  be  the  day  the  colonists  fired  ”  the  shot  heard  round  the  world  ”   at  Lexington  and  Concord .

The  museum  in Philadelphia  is  located  at  South  Third  Street ,  not  that  far  from  Independence  Hall .

Before  you  enter  the  building ,  you  notice  the  cannons  pointing  towards  you ,  right  above  the  name  of  the  museum .

Also  above  you  on  the  wall ,  is a copy  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence .

When  you  enter  the  lobby ,  which  is  very  impressive ,  including  the  marble  staircase ,  you  pay  your  admission   fee.

Hold  on  to  your  ticket ,  because  if you  come  the  next  day ,  that ticket  is your  admission .

Believe  me ,  you  will  need  two  consecutive  days  to  see  everything  in  this  museum .

Even  then ,  two days  just  isn’t  enough  to  see everything .

As  you  can  gather  by  the  name ,  this  museum  tells  the  story  of  the  American  Revolution .

But  it  doesn’t  start  from  the  events  at  Lexington  and  Concord ,  but  what  LED  up  to  those  events  and  what  happened  to  our  country  after  we  achieved  independence.

This  museum  may  seem  boring  to  you  and  possibly  your  children .

However ,  if your  children  are  old  enough  to  know  about  the  Revolutionary  War ,  they  really  need  to  see this  museum  even  if  you  aren’t  doing  a 30 Plus  Teams  Tour  of  Philadelphia .

You think  that  you  know  all  there  is  to  know  about  the  Revolutionary  War  because  you  learned  it  in  school  all  those  years  ago .

After  you  visit  this  museum ,  you  realize  that  you  really  didn’t  know  ANYTHING  about  the  Revolutionary  War .

In  school ,  the war  was  only  talked  about  from  the  Colonists  and  British  side .

There  was  actually  two  other  groups  of  people  whose  point  of  view  we  were  never  told  about .

The Native  Americans  and  the Slaves .

This  museum  makes  you  look  at  the  Revolutionary  War  from  four  different  sides ,  something  a lot  of  American  children  didn’t  learn  in American  History  class .

In every  room  of  the  museum ,  there  are  exhibits .

Children  will  definitely  enjoy  seeing  the  life size  replica  of  John  Paul  Jones’   boat  and  what  it  was  like  to  be  a  sailor  during  the  war .

I  particularly  liked  the  story  of  George  Washington’s  headquarters  at  Valley  Forge .

It was  a  tent ,  just  like  his  men  had .

You  are  allowed  to  take  pictures  at  the  museum ,  but  for  the  exhibit  on George  Washington’s  headquarters ,  no photos  are  allowed  at  all .

Once  you  see  the  exhibit ,  you’ll  understand  why .

I  was  saddened  to  see  the  exhibits  showing  that  while  the  colonists  were  fighting  for  independence  from  England ,  half  the  population  in the 13  colonies  were  slaves .

To  say  that  I  really  enjoyed  myself  at  this  museum  would  be  an  understatement .

As  a  history  major  in  college  oh  so  many  years  ago ,  seeing  the  exhibits  on  Lexington  and  Concord ,  Yorktown  and  all  those  Revolutionary  War  battles  fascinated  me.

I  even  liked  the  exhibit  showing  the  slaves  who  fought  for  the  British  side  because  they  were  promised  freedom .

I  would  strongly  advise  visiting  the  museum  of  the  American  Revolution  while  you’re  in  Philadelphia .

The  museum  gives  you  a  perspective  of  our  history  from  a  different  view .

One  that  is  very  refreshing  to  see .

Spending  two  or  three  hours  in  the  museum  won’t  bore  you ,  nor  will  you  be  disappointed .