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Carpenters' Hall

Carpenters' Hall
Carpenters' Hall

4th St. between Walnut and Chestnut Sts.

Carpenters' Hall can be seen as the birthplace of our nation. It was designed by Robert Smith, one of the most well-known architects of his time. It was the location of the first great tax revolt in American history. When the delegates of the first Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, they were originally going to meet in the Pennsylvania State House, but over fears that the British would overhear the proceedings (the British had offices in the building), the delegates moved down the street to the newly finished Carpenters' Hall. The Continental Congress ended up deciding to boycott all British goods, which was a much stronger statement than they had originally intended to make, so one can imagine how different the U.S. might have been if the Congress met in the State House.

Carpenters' Hall also acted as the first "national bank," and was the site of the first great bank robbery in the United States. One day during the 1790s it was noticed that $195,000 had gone missing, with no sign of forced entry. There was a locksmith working nearby, so he was arrested as a part of the conspiracy. Then a member of the Carpenters' Company started making large deposits into the same bank. He was pursued, but escaped. Luckily, most of the money was recovered. The locksmith then sued for wrongful arrest and won a $10,000 settlement.

So, as you can see, Philadelphia was the heart of the financial and political struggles that created the nation. And all good Republicans know that Philadelphia is their home.

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