I like the two level plan. This is a wonderful piece of history that should be viewable to all Americans.
Rebecca, Fort Wayne IN [12-17-2007]
please preserve the foundations for viewing in some form or another
anonymous, Bohemia, New York [11-26-2007]
I'm an investor in Houston, TX looking for black contractors in the area
Robert Smith, Houston, TX 77073 [11-22-2007]
George Washington can take it. Bottom line he made a big mistake- He took part in the belief that repression should be based on birth rather then acts! The man is passed away therefore create relationships with what he could've been and use it as a motivational tool. George Washington could've beaten slaveowners and womanizers-I want to know why he didn't so I can apply it to my life. This country treats him like a little boy that can't take words. Those kids cried I have read about oney Judge and others. Kids cry because they need love not hate, and those kids aint no different then any others... p.s I am white and sick and tired of the excuss making
kenny guth, dc [10-10-2007]
With the election less than a month away, I guess it will be up to Philadelphia's next mayor to decide what is built at the President's House site. Even though the remains of the house have been reburied, let us not forget the paramount importance of the archaeology. That should be the centerpiece of the commemoration.
David S., Southampton, PA [10-07-2007]
Long Live the Spirit of the Million Man March! I will commit myself to supporting your cause.
Mike Muhammad, Philadlephia Pa [09-28-2007]
I've spent some time skimming through others suggestions, and I see that many people agree that the site should be rebuilt. I'm a PROUD native Philadelphia for many generations, and I feel that the city could do so much more than it is presently doing to preserve valuable historic sites such as this house. I've been to the dig, and I feel strongly that the house should be rebuilt, no matter what the cost. The cost of NOT doing it is even greater. I know that the city was surprised by the number of people who flocked to the dig, and I believe they underestimate just how important our history is to Philadelphians and Americans in general. Williamsburg has the right idea. They respect their history and preserved what they could and lovingly rebuilt what was lost. We are supposed to be the Cradle of Liberty. There should be no discussion of "what to do with the site". Besides the President's House, historic treasures in other parts of the city are going to ruin also, such as Loudoun and Vernon Park in Germantown. Long-time residents such as myself love Philly and respect its history, and we are frustrated that more is not being done to preserve the history of this great city before it is too late. Putting up monuments and new glass buildings with plaques describing what used to be there is short-sighted, unenlighted and just plain stupid. It's not what people want and, if preserving our history is not a good enough reason, in terms of revenue, it is not what will bring tourism dollars into the city. Perhaps our mayoral hopefuls could take a field trip to Williamsburg to learn a few things. REBUILD THE PRESIDENT'S HOUSE and preserve its legacy for Philadelphia and for America.
Maryann Colletta, Philadelphia, PA [09-24-2007]
I support your fifth suggestion, that the excavations should be visible at a sub-level. The memorial should certainly go up as proposed, but if possible, a sub-level area should be devoted to archaeological work. A glass floor could illuminate the archaeological finds better than photographs and videos.
anonymous, Providence, RI [09-15-2007]
I wrote earlier and forgot to request if someone could put some pictures of the artifacts that were found on the "The President's House" site too.
Joanne, Lindenwold, New Jersey [09-13-2007]
I would perfer #2 with the glass plate. This is such a great opportunity to see into the past concerning our greatest President, that we should preserve it and be able to visit it. It may bring new visitors to Phila.too.
Joanne, Lindenwold, new jersey [09-13-2007]
Response to Dan: There is no documentation that Washington expanded the stables beyond ordering that the Cow House, a space 8 feet by 9 feet 3 inches (according to the 1785 Burnt House Plan), be divided into two horse stalls. The other stalls on my plan are conjectural, but based on those at Mount Vernon, Monticello and other contemporaneous houses. The Coach House housed four vehicles - the coach of State, a smaller coach, an open carriage, and a wagon. There were also bins holding 50 to 60 bushels of oats (hay was stored in the loft). Taking all this into account, the other stalls are as wide as I could reasonably make them: about 4 feet 4 inches. Thank you for the compliments.
Ed Lawler [09-08-2007]
There seems to be no provided contact information for Edward Lawler Jr. who spent so much time researching and documenting and truly reassembling this amazing piece of history. So I will post my thought here in the hopes it may find a way to him at some point. The layout plans of the house show the brick stables at the same size as they were before Robert Morris purchased the house. However Washington says the stables would only fit 12 of his horses. That would provide only 3 foot wide stalls for the horses. That isn't enough room. Horses must be able to turn around and lie down even in their stalls. It would appear some expansion of the brick stables must have taken place before Washington made his comments.
Dan, Orange CA [09-05-2007]
This part of history definitely needs to be preserved. Our history needs to be told. Let the truth be known and let us unveil the conspiracy against Africa/African American people and their culture. I commend all those who have put forth the effort to galvanize this small part of history of human African enslavement.
Kenney, Logan Township NJ [09-01-2007]
Brother Michael I know you had the support of the outgoing Mayor. Have you been in contact with Micheal Nutter.
Gerald Pilgrim, Willingboro, NJ [08-30-2007]
Hi there, For a school project, we are looking for brochures, pamphlets, any material you have. Is there anyway that can be mailed to us at your earliest convenience. Thanks.
Dear small thinking US Historians who bad-mouth Washington and Jefferson for keeping their slaves under their control while at the same time fighting for freedom for all, Please wake up and stop your non-sense talking. Have you ever considered the fate of the slaves of Washington and Jefferson if they HAD freed them in 1775-1790? If you recall, Jefferson and Washington risked their lives for the freedom of all (study lives of TJ and GW 1775-1781) Jefferson wrote publicly in the Declaration of Independence about the deplorable institution of slavery, and Washington stood boldly in defense of that document. For either of these great slavery-fighters to have let their slaves out of their control at that time would have put those people in a worse situation. What good would that have done? What law could either Jefferson or Washington used to prevent their slaves from harm once in control of another who had legal rights to own slaves? If you look closely neither Jefferson nor Washington were involved in the discussions during the US Constitutional convention in which slavery was continued. The inexcusable continuation of slavery in 1789 was not Washingtons' or Jefferson's idea, but was done in contrast to all that had been accomplished during the war. The Constitution was made to keep the USA alive, not to state our founding principles like the Declaration of Independence. Both Washington and Jefferson did the honorable thing and maintained control of their slaves, thereby not allowing other unscrupulous slave merchants the opportunity to profit by selling these "unique properties". Washington and Jefferson saw more important battles in their day, such as in establishing a free nation. They avoided small battles that would result in civil war between states in 1775-1790. And they established a free nation that eventually made its citizens highly aware that all men are created equal and are endowed with certain inalienable rights, among those life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Today we have the same problem. Several million people make money on the taking away the rights of others, like slave owners did in 1775. Whenever someone cries foul or states that the rights of people are being trampled, they are laughed at, taunted, made to look like an idiot by the press, etc. Try standing up for the right of the un-born to have a chance at life, or the aged to live until they die, or against research where human life is sacrificed, and you will experience the ugliness of being against a popular "vice" as Washington and Jefferson experienced.
Patrick Keeley, Rockford, MI USA [08-27-2007]
I'm very surprised to watch the lack of perspective issued by professionals in this issue of Washington's slaves. They are the ones called to educate the vast majority of ignorant citizens (as evidenced by their public behavior at the site). We MUST NOT judge the past with the knowledge, values and attitudes of the present, moreover when that past is 250 yrs away! Those professionals should provide the public with comparative cases, including Pres Jefferson who wanted to free his slaves but encountered many reasons that kept him from doing so. Are both Washington and Jefferson less worthy of our admiration because of this slave dilemma, or are we going to honor those who deserve it, even when they showed weakness at some points? We have become a society that are eager to throw dirt over someone's character; there's very little understanding or any "walking on someone else's shoes" done lately - a lot of talking without knowledge. I'm curious to know how many of those "shouters" are blameless themselves. Are we really believing that Washington or Jefferson never made a wrong decision, never had a selfish moment. never...etc.. or are we ready to accept these were exceptional gentlemen, above average both, morally sound and above all, responsible men who risked their lives for the benefit of our emerging country? How many can say they do anything similar for the well of others (like participating in the constitutional conventions) without been paid? How many real patriots are we nurturing nowadays? Only the military people risk their lives on a regular basis - the rest awaits to be defended and to criticize. It seems that most people are scandalized to learn that all presidents WERE men, human beings, with faults. The only rare thing to be noted here is that Washington violated a state law by rotating the slaves. The thing to ask is: what were the motives (in case we could establish those)? Was this move a lucrative one for Washington or was he using his own resources since the public funds would/could not provide labor for the incipient government functions? Just go about all the details we take for granted today that are provided for the president, cabinet or congresspeople by the federal government (which did not exist as such in Washington's days) - instruct the people! "To whom is given much, much will be demanded" goes the saying. Publish how many violations (since Washington) have been done by other presidents or ...must Washington had to be, on top of establishing and designing what a president should be, perfect? These are thoughts for all to ponder BEFORE criticizing. Thanks for the opportunity to exercise the 1st Ammendment. One proud citizen of the United States of America
M Brill, pa [08-14-2007]
One thing that we miss so much in many historic sites is the "sense of space" that comes not just from the Great Big Picture-Book Building we came to see, but also from the structures and the streets and the land that frame it. Having a big empty park around Independence Hall, for example, would remove from the visitor any sense that the building was once surrounded by residences and other government buildings. But simply knowing that a little block of land is "where" the house stood really isn't the same as standing on the porch and sensing "how" that building related to the space around it. The recent decision to rebuild the outward form of the Stadtschloss in Berlin, and the similar movement to rebuild the Tuilleries Palace in Paris, are both examples of this effort to re-create a space. In both cases, the impetus is not simply to build an imitation of a missing building, but to restore to existing buildings a sense of space that was robbed from them when supporting structures were lost. In the case of the Stadtschloss, the decision (so far) is to build a reproduction shell around a modern, utilitarian interior. The push for the Tuileries is to mix a full reproduction of the state floors with added modern museum space for the Louvre's collections. In the case of the President's House, why not rebuild the exterior of the house to provide a street-level context? Then inside, use a glass floor on the main level with displays, etc., and use the second floor for more displays or office space. I realize that fake historic buildings are now tabu. But properly conceived, a reproduced exterior of the President's House could serve a broader purpose for the historic area.
John Hackney, Atlanta, Georgia [08-13-2007]
My last comment pertained, as you know, to the President's House page, not the whole site. (Please refer to the tile of this page for reference.) Context matters, and by omitting the fact that Morris lived in the house you make it appear, dishonestly, that he was just a landlord. Also you might want to correct the factual errors on the "full page devoted to Morris" since it is replete with them. For example: he was born in Liverpool, not Lancashire; he was "Superintendent of Finance" not "Financial Agent"; he started the bank after he was "Superintendent"; he did not direct the operation of the Bank of NA; there is no mention that he was "Agent of Marine", a position he took without pay for 3 years; also there is no mention on that page that he lived on 190 high street.
Rob Morris, Westtown, [08-13-2007]
I noticed that you seem eager to portray Morris as little more than a landlord, when he actually lived on this site during his tenure as Superintendent of Finance, when he started the Bank of North America, and when he ran the Continental Navy. He only moved out to accommodate his friend George. Omitting these facts seems odd since you seem so ready to display every iota of information about the cook and stable hands. One wonders if there is some kind of peculiar bias down at ushistory.org.
Rob Morris, Westtown [08-10-2007] [Webmaster's note: We have a full page devoted to Robert Morris in ushistory.org]
My role as a museum educator, student of Art History, Archaeology,and Anthropology compels me to vote in favor of leaving the actual site visible (but protected) to the public. One of the challenges we face as educators is the lack of contextual information forming vital connections when we remove archaeological features (or artifacts) from their respective locales. I think leaving at least part of the site visible to the public would enhance their engagement with this time and space in history. Jennifer Davidson - Docent, Dallas Museum of Art
Jennifer Davidson, Dallas,TX [08-07-2007]
I think that something in the nature of option 2 or 4 would be great. As an archaeologist I love franklin court and the way archaeology and documentation have been combined to not only teach people the history involved but also to give them an idea of how we know what we know. When I brought my 6 and 8 year olds down to the president's house site I was suprised at how interested they were in what they were seeing. As future development in this city and in all of the country it will continue to impact the past that is beneath our feet. This project is a tool with the potential not just to teach us about history of the presidency and of slavery but also of historic preservation and the importance and value of taking care of the past.
Sylvia S. Duggan, W. Philadelphia, PA USA [08-07-2007]
On October 4, 1796, delegation of Indian leaders boarded the schooner Swan in Detroit. Among them was my great-great-great-great-grandfather, Topinbe, Chief of the St. Joseph Potawatomi. They were guests of the United States Government and represented the Potawatomi, Shawnee, Miami, Ottawa, Chippewa, Piankishaw, and several other tribes from the Great Lakes region. They arrived in Philadelphia in late November and on November 29 they were assembled at a banquet presided over by President George Washington. I believe that it is entirely likely that the banquet was held in the State Dining Room of The President's House. In his keynote address, President Washington reminded the assembly of the government-to-government obligations and mutual protections that had been established between the sovereign Indian nations and the United States in the recently signed Treaty of Greenville (Aug. 3, 1795). In response to concerns brought before him by the delegation, President Washington acknowledged that crimes had been committed against the Indians and he promised that those who had committed those crimes would be punished. He said, in part: “…As for the Government, it will use its utmost endeavours to restore to every Indian any property of his which may have been stolen by Citizens of the United States, and will moreover punish those who violate the laws that have been made to prevent such practices...” I respectfully submit that some reference to the President's dealings with American Indian delegations at that historic site might be in order. Jeremy Bertrand Finch Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Citizen Potawatomi Nation
Jeremy Finch, Shawnee, Oklahoma [08-01-2007]
I thought this website was so interesting, I read most every word. The one thing that would add quite a bit would be some idea of the rest of the house, how the household was organized, etc. It looks like it is mainly service areas, servant quarters, and then two big dining rooms! Where are bedrooms, library, etc. Also more about the white servants and members of the family would be so appreciated. Anecdotes having to do with the house, etc. Meanwhile, it is already a great website.
amity, Lockhart, Texas [08-01-2007]
the house is beautifull
Preserve the site! We are lucky to have the opportunity to see the historical findings of the archaeological site. Underground Philadelphia must be full of fascinating relics that will never be seen because they lie beneath historic buildings. No one would advocate bulldozing Elfreth's Alley, and it would certainly be a shame to do so. But since the President's House is gone, we'd be fools not to take advantage of the educational opportunity that the archaeological site provides. It would be a travesty to cover up a real, rare historical gem by building on top of it a fake "historical" reproduction of the house. This is historic Philadelphia, not Disney World. Old City is full of monuments to the white, male, Protestant founders of this country-- and rightly so. But now we have found an accidental, authentic memorial to the African slaves who built all those other monuments. It would be a mistake to silence a part of the American story that is usually told in superficial token gestures, if at all.
Emily S., Philadelphia, PA [07-27-2007]
Now that the truth is finally out we know better what the house is about. the greatest things of researching the past this will enhance our future and our memories will last. together we stand, divided we fall this has been proven now we can stand tall. Continue the effort continue the fight, justice will be done when we are proven to be right! (Eddy)
anonymous, Phila, PA [07-26-2007]
Heard your presentation Michael Coard on One Black Man's View, Blog Talk Radio(http://www.blogtalkradio.com/oneblackmansview. Have also email others to listen to your presentation. QUESTION: ?DOES PHILADELPHIA STILL HAVE A BLACK OWNED BROADCAST RADIO STATION?
Kokayi Ufanifu, Omaha, Nebraska [07-25-2007]
Fascinating! My preference would be for the two-level solution.
anonymous, San Diego, CA [07-23-2007]
After reading some of what the others have written, I would like to add that the NPS should listen to "The People" and rebuild. Born and raised the Philadelphia, I know what a beautiful town it is! I'm sure whatever monies is put into restoring the Mansion would be recaptured in touristry. Geri
Who had the house destoryed in the first place and why wasn't it saved like all the other treasors in Philadelphia? This has should be rebuilt and made part of the visiable history of Philadephia.
Jacquie, Phila, PA [07-21-2007]
What happen to the President's Mansion? Why wasn't it kept in tack like Independence Hall, Christ's Church, The Ross' House????? Why was it razed??????? I find it so hard to believe a structure of such great importance would have been destroyed.
anonymous, Blue Bell, PA [07-21-2007]
I think this is an important locations and find to share with the public. I like the idea of the use a glass floor (at grade level looking down 10 feet; or below grade level close to the foundation level). I will not be able to vistit this site with my 6th grade daughter until the fall, when I hope there will still be something to see
Pat, Greencastle, PA [07-21-2007]
I am doing a side video on Oney Judge and can not locate any images. Is it possible that you have any or that you know of any place I can find some?
Samantha Templeton- Inqurier Online [07-18-2007]
Rebuild the house so people can tour it.
Michael diPilla, Philadelphia, PA [07-17-2007]
I'm excited that the excavation is underway with the first President's House. I would like to see the house to be replicated based on the foundation and archived prints. But also have the basement chamber available for the tour.
Larry, North Wilmington, DE [07-17-2007]
I'd hate to see everything be covered up. I think it would be great if that area was designed similar to Franklin Court - so that visitors would be able to look below at the bow window, etc in addition to a museum area with interesting facts & displays.
ceil, phila., pa [07-15-2007]
I love to see the way historic figures lived. Therefore, I would like to see the house built according to information and artists conceptions during the period. This is against NPS policy but exceptions should be made for a site so very important to the development of the United States.
Richard De Fonce, Brick, New Jersey [07-14-2007]
I wanted to go to Phil. to see Betsy Ross house and I thought I could see the first White House,only to discover that it isn't there any more. I am so disappointed. I don't no what possed whoever to do whatthey did to it. It is a piece of history that we can't see. It shouldhave been preserved like Mount Vernon.What a shame.The first White HOUSE GONE
Jeri Medure, New C astle, PA Lawrence co. [07-14-2007]
I was so proud yet angry that at age 54, I was just leaning about the role of my ancesters at the Presidents house. However i pledge to share this story with my children and grandchildren. To see and fell the foundation was a life changing event. The liberty bell just yards away from the enslaved africans and the hipocritic George Washington and other founding fathers that held people hostage.
Bob Shipman, South Philadelphia [07-10-2007]
I work very close to Independence Mall, and I would walk by everyday and see the picture taking tourists flick away at what I considered lies. If two people ride the bus together and get off at the same stop, the two would have different stories about the ride. I believe "American" history is grossly one sided . I was happy to find that the big secret of Washington being a slaveholder was out. I just hope that whatever lands on that site on 6th and market does justice in educating the public. History books will need a lot of whiteout.
I have recently been to the excavation site and it is the most exciting and interesting piece of history to come about in a long time. As a lifelong Philadelphia resident and history lover, I always think of my city as the birthplace of democracy--the place that gave rise to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutional Convention, etc. I'm very embarassed to say that I rarely remember that the Presidency began here and that Washington and Adams spent the first ten years of the country's presidential terms right here in Philadelphia. I also think of Philadelphia as an important stop on the Underground Railroad, not as a city where our first President kept some of his many slaves. This is a very important piece of our history that needs to be left open and talked about and preserved for future generations. This is a very rare opportunity that should not be reburied. This site would be so much more meaningful and powerful it left open (by way of a glass floor, for example) for everyone to see, rather than some plaque or memorial that would be so much easier to overlook.
Donna Haegele-Rago, Philadelphia [07-08-2007]
I strongly believe that the house should not have been destroyed in the first place, but as it was, the house should now be rebuilt for the nation to study and enjoy. To me this is one of those exceptions to the policy that should be allowed.
R. Hogan, Vienna, VA [07-08-2007]
I strongly believe that the first official residence of our first president should be re-built as equally valuable treasures have been in Williamsburg. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to right what was so thoughtlessly done in 1951. Raising funds for a re-build would not be that hard and I do believe the NPS could make an exception to their rules for something so historically significant. To do anything else would be such a dis-service to our countries history. It would be such a wonderful tourist attraction considering it really was our countries first President's House. It should be re-built at any cost.
Jeanne Navratil, Yardley, PA [07-06-2007]
Philadelphia dig unearths questions of liberty, San Diego Union Tribune July 4, 07.I have not yet been to Philadelphia and would love to visit. But to visit the Liberty Bell,with all it's history and I mean the real history. And just to reamber and to respect the slaves without basic human rights but in Gods eye the same as Washington a human being. But was born without rights. Let us learn from our past.
Sheila ford, San Diego Ca, [07-05-2007]
Read Marcus Garvey . "Slavery is not a condition confined to anyone age or race of people. Slavery has been since man in the different distribution of himself, scattered here, there and everywhere, has grown and developed, wherein one race will become strong and the other race remains weak. The strong race has always reduced the weak to slavery. It has been so in ages past, it is so now in certain parts of the world, and will be so until the end of time. The great British nation was once a race of slaves. In their own country they were not respected because the Romans went there, brutalized and captured them, took them over to Rome and kept them in slavery. They were not respected in Rome because they were regarded as a slave race. But the Briton did not always remain a slave. As a freed man he went back to his country (Britain) and built up a civilization of his own, and by his self-reliance and initiative he forced the respect of mankind and maintains it until today. " Stop claiming African slavery was worse than any other kind of slavery, Rome lasted 1000 years and was slave intensive almost 99% Europeans. Do not make it a race issue it is an ongoing human issue.
stevo, Los Angeles [07-05-2007]
This is a worth while project. It shows that the men who were involved in the founding of this country were also involved in the values of 1776, one of which was the ownership of slaves. It just proves that "all men are created equal" was true of rich white men. Not women, people of color and even poor white men weren't included.
Paula Orazietti, Newark, Delaware [07-05-2007]
I got to this website through the article in today's New York Times. It is a terrific site, and I intend to use it in my classes (I teach at Eugene Lang College, part of The New School). I think it is very important for us to face the fact that some of our founding fathers, great as they were, condoned and supported slavery. I don't think this is propaganda, but simple fact. A great country - and ours is a great country - can face its errors and overcome them. This site is a terrific step in that direction.
Alan H McGowan, New York, NY [07-05-2007]
My main concern is to OF COURSE have the public view the excavation process but ONLY with the upmost care and preservation to the site....Everything else is heresay! A preservation expert should be brought in with his/her expertise on the site for the best preservation possible.... Do you take volunteers to help with the excavation site? I would love to get involved! I love american history and have been to Philadelphia way back in 1980 and am planning on bring our 2 girls there the last week in July! I am so excited to be coming back to such a historical city with such a colorful past! Thank you so much for going on with the excuvation of the presidents house! Are there any other plans on the board for excuvating historical dwellings in or around Philadelphia?
colleen wilkin, Detroit, Michigan [07-04-2007]
Why highlight the slavery issue, and why give notice to so-called "Black Independence Day" (July 3rd)? I think it's propoganda, and insulting and demeaning to The President's House. Sure, I like factual history, but without political indoctrination.
Terry McCormack, Ellicott City, MD [07-04-2007]
I had the distinct priviledge of attending a meeting at the Philadelphia Convention Center in the summer of 2006. The dignitaries presiding offered the most spectacular Power Point presentations of our devastating history as enslaved peoples. I am so saddened, furious about this enslavement of my/our ancestors and yet so extremely proud of our survival. It is time, no past time, for us to excel as the unique individuals we are. No other ethnicity has endured our plight and survived. I hate and respect the survivors of the horrendous Jewish Holocaust, yet those persecuted and murdered peoples were not indoctrinated to hate themselves by virtue of who they are. Where did we, African Americans and indigineous Black dynamic people go wrong? Why are we behind in economics, education and wealth? Why do we fill the jails and prisons, and not the colleges and universities! I know some of the answers, but, would love some dialog highlighting how we got to this nowhere place in the society we physically built and giftedly invented so much of what makes America the flourishing geographic land mass others enjoy, at our total expense.??? Why do we continue to allow ourselves to remain in such a dastardly non-place in the America we contributed so very much to! I need help to assist the younger folks in my North Philadelphia community. I have so many questions, and I also have some love and heart-felt answers, but I can do no more alone. I admit that I am somewhat fearful about reprisals. We have to reach our young people with love, respect and encouragement, and self worth. And our children need to know how to love and value themselves as viable members of society and their own families, and peers. How can I help our children appreciate the beauty of our survival and the significant part they and we all must play in order to better appreciate this effort of the commemoration of the NINE ENSLAVED AFRICANS by a President of these United States of America? It is an excellent move/position to have nine (9) Black children represent the nine enslaved Africans at the Commemoration on Tuesday, July 3, 2007, when a HOME GOING SERVICE will honor and posthumously/by proxy free their Spirits. I have so many thoughts, (you can read how all over the place I am), but it is late in the night upon my return from a second-shift government postition, and I am sleepy. How can I be of service? Sincerely in the Service of Jesus Christ the LORD, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bettye Major Korsah, Philadelphia, PA 19132, USA [07-03-2007]
Thank you for including me on your link page! I am quite flattered! I've had a number of 'hits' from your site. Mr. Klingenmaier and I must have been neighbors, as I also lived on Cameron Street in Old Town. I agree with him somewhat concerning the re-creation of the Presidents' House. It is regrettable that this was not incorporated in the current plan. I imagine that the city planners and architects would prefer and unobstructed view of Independence Hall. Certainly a plaque, inclusion on various walking tours, and perhaps an interpretive center (in another historic home) would be a fitting compromise. As for me, I will continue to stop at the site of the house and relate the plight of Oney Judge to all my tour groups. Again thank you! The Educational Tour Marm
Tour marm, Alexandria, VA [07-02-2007]
Under discussion is what to do after the dig;I think that either the glass floor Use a glass floor (at grade level looking down 10 feet; or below grade level close to the foundation level) or the two level Two levels: The memorial at ground level; the excavations beneath, in an underground chamber.
James Van Fossen, Davenport, IA [07-02-2007]
This archaeology is too important to be covered up. The National Park Service has (figuratively) buried the history of these slaves for decades, and now it may (literally) bury the only physical evidence of their existence -- the slave passage. The centerpiece of the Underground Railroad Musuem in Cincinnatti is a slave holding pen -- a wooden jail with iron loops to which human beings were chained -- the ONLY one of these that survives. The slave passage is the ONLY physical evidence that survives of the enslavement of these 9 human beings in Washington's presidential household. It is precious, and should become the centerpiece of the slavery section of the President's House memorial.
D.F. Holly, Collegeville, PA [06-30-2007]
After completing the excavation and a complete photographic esaay of the site, it should be re-buried and a few viewing portals installed such as was done at the Franklin homesite in Franklin Square.
Thomas Rowley, Orange, California [06-30-2007]
Saw the excavation Saturday 6/16, very impressed with the artist rendering and the writing. From a historical standpoint, reburying the site should be unacceptable as well -- hiding the past won't change it, and seeing the foundations helps spark imagination and empathy for the human experience -- so a reconstruction or partial reconstruction, with either glass floors or subterranean access, with full memorial and museum, should get the vote.
Ed Hart, New York City [06-19-2007]
One of favorite places in the historic district is Franklin Court. Could that possibly be a model for how to preserve the site; with the above ground representation and views into the foundations?
Amy, philadelphia [06-18-2007]
I would like to know why this house was torn down in 1951 to begin with when the rest of the area has been preserved?
Cathy Poston, Blackwood, NJ [06-16-2007]
I think it would be wonderful to have the house rebuilt as another reminder of our past history and heritage. Why can't we do as the Italy does and preserve our past history? I have been to Italy, Britain and Spain and they all keep there historic sights preserved.
Bob, Cleveland, Ohio [06-16-2007]
I was born and raised in Philly, and I totally believe in keeping our history in tact, and that would iinclude keeping the dig and its findings. It should not be buried. It should be maintained, and next to it should be an architect's drawing of what the house actually looked like ... if at all possible. We lost a lot of history due to ignorance...let's keep this for all to see. It would be wonderful if an actual replica could be constructed, but seeing that that's not feasible...do whatever is necessary to preserve what was found. Thank you.
Claire, Philadelphia [06-15-2007]
I continue to read about the on-going excavation of the President's House site with both amazement and awe...and also to some degree, with disbelief. The discoveries of the kitchen basement, the underground passageway, and the bow window foundation clearly protend of discoveries yet to be uncovered. They also warrant careful consideration in any finalization of plans for commemorating this site. These archeological findings - and common sense - should certainly rule out any plan to fill in the site and build an "artificial" memorial above it. As so many contributors to this website have so eloquently stated, history cannot and should not be buried; it is a living, breathing part of our heritage, whether we entirely agree with portions of it or not. We should not repeat the very mistake we now accuse earlier generations of making - historical omission. As an earlier writer pointed out, signs, plaques and electronic gadgetry can never impart the true feeling and historical experience enjoyed by the genuine article; just ask the thousands of visitors to Washington's Mount Vernon estate. A way must be found to preserve and display these archeological gems, and others yet to be discovered. Having said this, it is equally important, I believe, that we not lose sight of the "other" historic record so far partially uncovered, as evidenced by the bow window foundation - the President's House itself. After reading the numerous news articles as well as published interviews with city and National Park Service officials, I remain astounded by the lack of any intent or even suggestion that the remainder of the President's House site be excavated. I believe it would be an egregious oversight not to fully explore the entire site given the totally unexpected and significant archeological findings to date. Any final decision affecting the historical intrepretation of this site needs to involve the "full" picture, to include the roles of the first two presidents of the United States, their immediate families, as well as the numerous other historic figures who visited the house. Only then could the site truly be said to commemorate the full historic picture.
Richard Klingenmaier, Alexandria, Virginia [06-15-2007]
I believe the President's House should be rebuilt. Such a reconstruction would serve as a fitting tribute to both George Washington and an important period in America's history. It would also help to make ammends for demolishing a building that should have been preserved at all costs. Philadelphia is riddled with missed opportunities for historical preservation or reconstruction, where plaques and other commemorations of colonial buildings that once existed are both laughable and sad. The NPS may consider reconstructed buildings like the Graff House to be what not to do, but I disagree. In my opinion, a properly executed reconstruction can display and protect artifacts, attract more tourists than stupid signs and plaques, and put people more in touch with the structures and history that actually existed at the site. It is interesting to note that of the five semi-finalist designs, the winner's design seems to most resemble a reconstruction. People want reconstructions and will flock to see them. Signs and other similar commemorations, like Welcome Park, are dull, boring and disconnected from history.
The hidden passageway used by slaves should be incoporated into the new exhibit at the site. The past should not be forgotten. We have journeyed far on the road to make Dr.Martin Luther King's dream a reality. This will serve as a reminder of the distance we have yet to travel.
diane komadina, Bristol NJ [06-11-2007]
I think a glass floor would be cool, or rebuild the house
GP, Phila PA [06-11-2007]
We've lost enough historical monuments in this country. NO to reburying. That was done with some of the Jamestown exacavations (with replicas plunked on top). Very disappointing. Sure, protection from weather but who sees it now - the bugs. The underground museum AND glass-bottom look-see at Franklin Court should give lots of ideas. Yes, yes to having anything from the Pres. house on view to the general public through either of these ideas: protected glass look-see and/or underground museum. I don't agree with NPS policy not to reconstruct at some location nearby. If it was good enough for Williamsburg to reconstruct the Palace and Capitol, it should be good enough for NPS. The First President's House is THAT important. Well, isn't the White House??? Thank you.
Deborah Connor, Ridley Park PA [06-10-2007]
As a former student of archaeology, I understand the need of the public to see and understand the importance of this science. To rebury all that has been uncovered at this site would be a terrible mistake. Here is a tangible link to our past that most people never get the privilege of seeing. To know that you are standing where George Washington stood, where the slaves that ran his household walked, where our very history took place is an overwhelming feeling. Please do not take that opportunity away from the public.
Dana, Apex, NC [06-10-2007]
For the life of me, I cannot understand why the City of Philadelphia has not done more to promote itself as the former capital of the United States. Here, in the D.C. area, the name "George Washington" is a tourist magnet, and the fact that he spent his presidency in Philadelphia is unknown. With David McCullough's biography, the public appreciation of John Adams is at an all-time high. The Presidents' House is the obvious place for the public to learn about both men, THERE, where they lived and worked. And the presence of slaves in what could be called "The People's House" will make the stories all the more compelling -- vital to a true understanding of our origins. What building, save the White House itself, is more important in American History?
Natalie Shambaugh, Oakton, VA [06-10-2007]
I am writing to urge the custodians of the President's House to preserve the "slave passage" in any restoration of the site, and to include instructional material about the role of slaves in the household of George Washington and in the contemporary society. As a "white" American, I consider it to be a particular responsibility to promote the recognition of the grievious injuries inflicted on "blacks" in the name of racial superiority. The President's House has an opportunity to help set the historical record straight for generations to come.
Andrew Kafel, Jersey City, NJ [06-09-2007]
I visited the Liberty Bell Center last summer with my family. I think Philadelphia is an amazing city with a wealth of important history for Americans. To rebury the archaeological site would be sin. This site is too important to all of us. In Europe, it's not uncommon for archaeological sites to have a glass floor placed above a foundation to allow visitors to see back into the 12th or 13th century portions of buildings.
Christina, San Francisco, CA [06-09-2007]
I would like to see published in the media that the home Geo. and Martha Washington lived (in the 1790's), in Philadelphia, was built in the 1760's, not built or designed by Washington and they did not put in the tunnels 'which were used to keep servants(and slaves) out of site'..so easily assumed.
Margaret, St. Louis [06-08-2007]
You could build the museum as planned but on the ground floor of the museum it should be made see- thru flooring so people could see the actual foundation of the original home. You shouldn't cover up actual history to make a modern building. Let the viewers actually feel like they are standing in George Washingtons home. When you are doing tours you could say something like "we are now standing in the parlor". And people could look down and see the actual foundation of what was the parlor.Sometimes we need to hold on to the past good or bad so we can appreciate the fact that we have come so far and to remember the people who got us here. Don't cover up history !
megan townsend, salem, n.j. 08079 [06-08-2007]
I am from suburban Phila and was in the city touring about 2-3 weeks ago and happened upon the excavation of the presidents house. I was quite amazed at what was being done and was fascinated to actually see the original foundations, etc. On a personal note, when I visit historical sites I really appreciate seeing the actual ruin/remains no matter how well preserved (or not so well preserved) because these are the real deal - not reconstructions. If these remains could talk - what a story they could tell! These (bricks, mortar, etc.) where made, set in place and used by real people (famous or not) of a long ago, significant time in our nations past. Please preserve the site and leave the excavations open for all (now and in the future) to see and imagine! That would really be experiencing history!
Alan Markley, Collegeville, PA [06-08-2007]
I am responding to the Associated Press article from Philadelphia, published today. The main question in the article seems to be whether features related to slavery should be exhibited at the site, or concealed from view. Well, I am for TRUTH. History is of most help to new generations if it is accurately and completely told - Truth is stranger than fiction - also it is more interesting! No purpose is served by concealing anything that actually happened when George Washington lived there. Jim Dorman
Jim Dorman, Memphis, TN [06-08-2007]
We should use other countries' handling of such ruins as a model. Britain, Germany and other countries in Europe have embraced their history, however cruel or tragic. They publicly display the remains of World War Two ruins and other reminders of tragic events. Such a monumental discovery, that of the slave quarters, is vital to a deeper understanding of what freedom meant to the Founding Fathers. To cover up the foundation would mean cementing over an essential truth about the foundation of this country. I think it's important to reevaluate our textbook explanation of the history of Philadelphia and the United States. Protect the ruins and incorporate them into the memorial's design. -A Temple University student
anonymous, Philadelphia, PA [06-08-2007]
Does anyone have any idea why the house was no longer standing? I was at Independence Hall many years ago and don't remember any excavations going on.
Kathy Shupe, slc ut [06-08-2007]
The thing about history is that we may not always like what we discover. The travesty would be to bury or otherwise ignore the ugly times of our past. Surely, if we forget them, it will doom us to repeat our errors.
Please find a way to show the history of these people. Pesident Washington having had slaves is an important find.
Tareasa, Apple Valley Ca. [06-08-2007]
Hi, Everything I hear suggests that you all are doing great work. Thanks! I write to implore you to leave as much of the original house as possible available for public viewing. In particular, please retain the newly found slave tunnel in some kind of viewable original form. As a political science professor who deals extensively in class with Washington's existence as a slaveholding president, the actual tunnel is an invaluable teaching tool that will interest and excite students. No mock-up can capture the sense of the original in such things. Ask people who have visited Nazi concentration camps if any museum exhibit matches the power of seeing the real thing. Please, please, please keep the original available in some form. Thanks. Steve Rockwell Associate Professor Department of Social Science St. Joseph's College Patchogue, NY 11772
Steve, Bellport, NY [06-08-2007]
Please try for leaving things as much as they were as possible. Virtual is not a true experience, and virtual can change over time. Thank you.
Julianne Sallee, Pocahontas, AR [06-08-2007]
I am fortunate to live in George Washington's home town of Alexandria, Virginia within site of his recontructed "town house". The original structure was torn down in the mid-nineteenth century, but rebuilt in the 1960's based on a sketch by a young girl who resided in my house at the time of its demolition. It goes without saying that this accurate "reconstruction" was a worthwhile endeavor and one admired by thousands of history minded visitors to our historic city. The President's House site in our nation's second capitol is truly an archeological treasure worth preserving for future generations to enjoy and learn from. Current National Park Service (NPS)policy notwithstanding, I strongly believe a full reconstruction of the President's House should be pursued, incorporating all elements of the President's household, especially in light of the most recent and extensive discoveries. Given earlier beliefs that little of structural significance had survived 19th and 20th century urbanization, NPS policy made sense. As is now evident, however, that policy is no longer relevant and should be changed. I strongly urge a re-thinking of the importance of preserving "all" of our history - not just what is considered politically or financially expediant. Richard Klingenmaier, Alexandria, Va (06-08-07)
Richard Klingenmaier, Alexandria, Virginia [06-08-2007]
If it is possible, you should leave as much of the archeological finds and house site open to view and as unobstructed as possible. If necessary and possible, you should build alongside the existing archeology remains to avoid disturbing them and keeping them fully open to view (covered by plexiglas if need be). There is no need to build on top of the existing remains where the house was originally located. The best value would be to preserve it and open it to the best viewing potential possible. By the way the new buildings should look as much like the original as possible. If you move the building you will also be able to replicate what is currently under the Liberty Bell Center as well.
Rob Wheeler, Scotland, PA [06-08-2007]
Have you considered a reconstruction of the house? I think this is a one of a kind opportunity to restore a crucial piece of American history, and I for one would gladly donate to the cause. This is the original White House! Please consider this. I think you would be surprised and overwhelmed with the national response to a restoration campaign. Please take into account that the American people are brave enough, and competent enough, to embrace the good and bad of our nation's history. Do not try and buffer us from our past! Let history speak for itself!
Mark Coady, Houston Texas [06-08-2007]
Please let history tell its own story! It is rare as many other commentaries mentioned to be able to see the "real" history and not a model of what was. As a child, I remember going to many museums and historical sites; however the ones that always stood out in my mind were the sites with "real" artifacts and buildings left. You can feel the history! You can sense the spirits of those who walked there! Please preserve this historic treasure. Although, it reminds us of a painful past, we would be wrong to ignore its existence!
Amanda Lavoe, Milwaukee, WI USA [06-08-2007]
ALL excavated ruins should remain visible for the public to view and learn from -- including the slave passage @ Washington's House. Slavery was a vital yet hideous industry during that moment of U.S. History, and we are now aware that even in the cradle of LIBERTY & BROTHERHOOD slavery existed. So why cover it up? Why neglect this reality? If you’re not going to backfill the entire ruin, why backfill the muscle (i.e. slaves) that kept the President's House going? It’s a part of the President’s House legacy, is it not?
Derek Johnson, Washington, DC [06-08-2007]
You must keep this open and tell the story. It's History and that is what Philadelphia where I grew up is all about.
Edward Dietz, Blackwood, NJ [06-08-2007]
Whatever is done please remember the focus of the project is 'The President's House.' George Washington should be the main point, not the slaves. At the time slavery was acceptable, it happened, it was wrong. It was 200 years ago. Get over it and move on. No one owes anyone anything.
David Stewart, Crimora, Virginia [06-08-2007]
Folks, I have an above average interest in Washington being the proud owner of 5 or 6 Washington manuscripts, letters, war discharge with his signature, a survey he drew in 1750, Etc. May I jump on the excavation band wagon and implore you to leave the sight exposed. All through Europe are Roman ruins under later buildings. And it is an important story. It is a huge part, as you know, of the Washingtons lives. My vote, let people see the passage way. It's probably the one that Hercules slipped out for the last time! Good stuff!
Jeffrey E. Finegan Sr, Phillipsburg, NJ [06-08-2007]
Please don't cover up the recently discovered passage. What better purpose for an historic site than to teach that history is more complicated than what is taught in the textbooks?
John Lalis, New York [06-08-2007]
As is often said, we stand on the shoulders of those great or small, who have come before us. With humble and seldom spoken gratitude, it is well past time to acknowledge the global contributions of peoples who are commonly known as ‘slaves’, and their lives of suffering, injustice, torture, and restraint from liberties. We stand as a nation and international member of humanity, upon the foundations and improvements wrought by the hands of those who were not free. We inherit the fruits of their labors as inextricable block and mortar upon which our lives are improved, our prosperity raised, our lives extended, and our children free. One fifth of our nation’s population was of African decent in 1793 when Washington signed the Fugitive Slave Act. All of the excess from a slave’s economic production was returned to their owners for enrichment. As excess capacity it was made available for extended commerce and government, and raised the infrastructure of our world. It was unjust! It was tragedy! It was an endowment! For me and my house, I say thank you! I say thank you! I say thank you! God bless the souls of those who paid that price, and may God bless their descendants in every way! Let us not forget the man we revere, George Washington, would not have been that able man were it not for his slaves. That we as a nation would not be that ‘able’ nation, but for the individual forced economic contributions of Africans whose investment and wealth have enriched our country, indeed the world, with their dividends. Include all history in your endeavors; save the tunnel! Rethink the value and the premise of this project. Save the tunnel.
Craig Ostlund, Draper, UT [06-08-2007]
This location should become a national treasure! So much of our history is gone forever it would be unjust to burry the remains and not leave them for future generations to observe.
Todd Raethka, Rochester, NY [06-08-2007]
I just read an article about the new findings on AOL. I think that the committee should figure out the best way to present the passage way while at the same time preserving the passage way. So many times it seems like black history and U.S. history, especially when it comes to minorities of all races, is watered down or parts are left out of books. The truth needs to be revealed. Keep the passage way and tell the true story of Washington's slaves and how he treated them. Please do not say he treated them great if he treated them like 3rd class citizens. Tell the true story of how the first President lived. We got to know just about everything that went on in Bill Clinton's life, good or bad. The same should be presented in the remains of the WHOLE Washington house; kitchens, slaves, any passages, any cherry trees, all of it. Stop lying and start telling the true history of the United States of America.
Willie Tate, Charlotte, NC [06-08-2007]
If rebuilding the house is against NPS policy....then it is time NPS policy was changed! Rebuilding this house and using it as a museum and tribute to our nations beginnings would mean far more and building a museum with no sentiment or appeal to the American public.
Janice Webre, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma [06-08-2007]
Please choose a course of action that respects the whole truth, not just the noble parts of it. The site should allow visitors to clearly see the slave passage recently uncovered--and not just through a glass floor that distances the viewer from the experience and gives an unrealistic visual perspective. If more time to rethink this matter and more money are needed, then so be it. There has already been enough damage to the site. Preserve what has been left to find. Thanks.
Mary Trahan, North Hollywood, California [06-08-2007]
I was impressed at some of the Jamestown exhibits built over the foundations of original structures. Thick glass plates at strategic places in the floor both protected the ruins and made them available for viewing. I think this would be the best solution for preserving and sharing the past.
anonymous, Fredericksburg, VA [06-08-2007]
Please leave the President's site open. Spend the extra money so my grandchildren, when they visit the site, will have a better understanding of our history. ...
Archie Tautfest, Denver, CO [06-08-2007]
Screw NPS policy! As an American and as an historian, I think the house SHOULD be rebuilt. Too much of our history has been pulled down in the name of progress and for the love of "money" and it is about time we restored what we can!
Jeffrey Teachout, Wichita Kansas [06-07-2007]
I really like the idea of the glass floors, although I think 10 feet might be a little high. I don't feel it should be reburied and 'forgotten' nor do I think that it should be built upon. A re-creation of the original home could be built somewhere nearby. But the homes original 'footprint' should be left for future visitors to enjoy.
Barbara, Scobey,MT [06-07-2007]
This discovery HAS to become part of this historic observation. To cover it, ignore it, diminish it's importance would be an aberration. Please show the world that the United States of America DID make errors in judgement, but that we HAVE corrected those errors and believe NOW that e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.
Cyndi, Houston, Tx [06-07-2007]
This is amazing I wish I lived closer. I don't know how big of an area this is, but it would be interesting if you could cover it with plexiglass and let people look at it that way, maybe from a balcony overlooking the site. How long will the site be open to the public as it is now?
Catherine Reddington, Newmarket, New Hampshire [06-07-2007]
I find the information of the President's nine slaves, their living conditions, their biographies, etc. far more interesting than that of the residents of the main house. To me, this is REAL history, not the mythic tales of the founding fathers (and mothers?) History is found in the day-to-day lives of "ordinary" folks, not in the fables of the movers and shakers.
Tim Goldrick, Freetown, MA [06-07-2007]
As a native of Philadelphia, please do your best to preserve and display the underground slave passages that were recently excavated. This is part of our history and should also be part of the NPS preservation efforts. In God We Trust.
sharen bevans, union city, ga [06-07-2007]
I just read an article about the newly discovered slave tunnel. I think it would be a disservice to our country to fill it in. Don't rewrite our history, just admit that we have made mistakes.
Holly Wolfgram, Marshfield, WI [06-07-2007]
I read the article "Slave passage found under Washington’s home" on MSNBC. The article leads in with the statement "raising questions about whether the ruins should be incorporated into a new exhibit at the site." I'm aware that journalism can be spun to make a bigger splash with the public. I hope this is the case in this situation. It would be an absolute travesty if this part of our national history was buried because it is not pretty. I hope your organization finds the collective courage needed to allow this unsavory part of our history to remain visible.
Brian Harroff, Canal Winchester, OH [06-07-2007]
I'm excited by the archaeological findings of the excavations, but am even more excited by the hordes of people converging on it (and the effect it seems to be having on peoples engagement with "real" history). I think both the glass floor, or passageways (anyway to communicate these finding to future visitor, assuming some form of the house is still built) is not only the right thing to do, but should be seen as the responsibility of the Park Service, and the Government, to make sure gets done admirably (not with regard to those who came before us, but rather to those who come after us. Who deserve a to hear a fair, albeit hard to swallow, depiction of the history of the site, which is much more interesting than the glamorous tales of elementary history)
Blake Rubin, Philadelphia, PA [06-07-2007]
Do discussion point #5
I think the house should be rebuilt as a tribute to George Washington and all who worked or lived or visited this historic place. The importance of rebuilding is to demonstrate the richness and heritage of our great America. Philadelphia needs this building as well as the rest of our country. Lest we never forget.
Joan Firth Kaysen, Nipomo, California [06-07-2007]
I have watched with GREAT enthusiasm the progress made by the current excavations at the President's House. I have been deeply moved every time I ascend the viewer's platform to watch the dynamic in progress; the unearthing of things from another time.Yet as a long time archaeologist researching this great city I am concerned that we might see valuable opportunities slip away because of lack of vision. The Sunday Inquirer article presented a strong case of advocacy which I support. I have seen lost opportunities at the site of the Constitution Center because people were unwilling to engage in a redesign which might be able to show the remnants of the colonial city. Conversely, I have witnessed the positive impacts of public involvement at the Dexter House site which was uncovered and filmed. Here we have an unrivaled entryway into the rich and complex history of our early republic. A wondrous sampler of diverse stories powerfully told USING the REAL material culture of the period; not a restoration but REAL FABRIC AND FORM. I was disturbed by some insinuations that somehow the archaeological story(?) is one which will suppress the interpretative narratives! Archaeology is a means to frame the past because it IS THE PAST!It is a tool and never an end in itself. It is exactly like history and any other discipline in that respect. With a long term commitment the park and city can begin fund raising which would give all of us(including a world audience)the chance to enage into a colloquy about late eighteenth century Philadelphia, the early republic, the stories of race and religion, and the players themselves./ The archaeology is a stage upon which the narrative of interpretation can be fixed upon. There is not only the story of the past involved here. There is also the opportunity to educate and inform whole future generations. It is a civic laboratory to embody arguments which heretofore only had verbal symposia to contend with; here we have material and verbal! Some think of it as a "foreign land" but its tapestries are authentic, solid, and encapsulate the memories of this dramatic period in world history. Robert Morris, John Adams, and yes, george Washington are involved here. But also the anonymous products of our national genesis, black and white. I urge everyone to engage in a new beginning to amplify this wonderful, however painful at times,story on the real material elements of yesterday. I hope Mr. Brady brings his grandchildren here. How can we save it?
Dr. David G. Orr, Philad pa [06-07-2007]
The President's House is a true treasure. This dig should not be covered up, but rather protected and displayed to the public. We've always deified Gearge Washington, but it's clear that he was ashamed about bringing slaves up north. Folks were far more interested in the Presidents' House than the Liberty Bell. Further, everyone who listened to the archeologist came away in awe - whether black or white. This place must be preserved intact and be availible to the public in perpetuity.
Dan Ruvin, Philadelphia, PA [06-06-2007]
I have been following this project for a number of months now and I have visited the site three times. It is a very important site and should continue to be explored until the archeologists deem they have learned all they can. It should be preserved and not filled back in. A museum should be built below grade and it should surround the site. We need to fairly present all aspects of our history. Slavery and the President's House occupants need to be fully explained. Lets not flush this opportunity down the drain as was done when a womens restroom occupied the site for 50 years.
Steve Grenz, Lionville, PA [06-06-2007]
I want them to dump the architects (none of them are any good) and go with the flow of the 18th century. IT IS THE PRESIDENT'S HOUSE. NO BUILDING, NO MEMORIAL. NO EMPHASIS ON SLAVERY. No video screens. The emphasis is the Presidency and the Oval Office. IT IS THE FOUNDATION OF EVERYTHING. Let the bricks speak for themselves.
Ariadne S. [06-04-2007]
I love the President of Philadelphia. This is my personal opinion, so may his day's be long. I am a Nigerian based business merchant here in the Frenchman Country. I wish the old and nex governance of my country can change like that of the goevernment of my loving Philadelphia
Ifeanyichukwu Manuagwu Jerome, cotonou, Benin Republic West/Africa [06-04-2007]
A solution similar to that of preserving the foundations of the medieval Chateau du Louvre in Paris (an underground "crypt" allows one to walk about the old moat and foundations and a model of the former palace/fortress is nearby) might well be the answer here in Philadelphia. These ruins are too important a part of our history to be reburied. There is virtually NOTHING about the President's House in any inofrmation in the shops of the NPS.
Patrick Phillips, Urbandale (near Des Moines) Iowa [05-31-2007]
On a routine Doctor's visit in Philadelphia I was surprised to find an archeological dig going on at 6th and Market Streets. I parked 6 block away and went to investigate. I was excited to find that the remnants of the President's House in Philadelphia was unearthed during demolition of an old bathroom building near the Liberty Bell Center. I was shocked to find out that many knew about this for many years and never was done about it. I spent over an hour speaking to a historian on the site finding out all I could. This is definately a site that needs to be preserved. If we can spend billions of dollars in Iraq we can spend what ever it takes to preserve this important part of history. There is nothing more important to our citizens & the military that defend the history and freedom of the United States than preserving what they fight and die to keep alive. I'm ready to put up some cash in necessary. I will be back frequently monitoring the progress and watching this website.
William J. Melfi, Absecon, NJ [05-30-2007]
Do not bury the site! That is a treasure and should be preserved in a way that future generations can view it. It is unique and definitely attracts a crowd. I can't wait to drop by and see it!
Thomas C. Bodall, Jamesburg, NJ [05-28-2007]
i think you should leave the dig exposed as part of the memoral. i quite intersting and as you can tell is quite a draw to tourest
JOHN FAMILIARE, phila pa. [05-24-2007]
Please do not fill the dig to cover the excavated house. It is immensely more interesting to see the actual remains of the house than to visit an architectural creation commemorating the house. The actual house conveys much more sense of history and meaning than any mere architectural rendering could provide. Please do not fill in the dig upon completion.
chris day, philadelphia [05-22-2007]
After reading this past weekend the article in the Sunday May 20, 2007 Philadelphia Inquirer regarding the discovery of the characteristics of Washington's house I wanted to express my opinion on what should be done with this property. This location must be restored to its original condition. This would be a true asset to the heritage of Philadelphia. There should be a project for donations and or contributions so as to raise the funds in order to restore the complete structure of the buildings and the tunnels, slave house etc.
Ron Pellegrino [05-22-2007]
On a suggestion from the owner of the B&B on 7th Street, I stopped at the dig on Market and could not believe how much has been found. I honestly hope it does not get covered up again and possibly something like Ben Franklin's house metal fram, can be erected. Awesome work!
Missy, Crofton, Maryland [05-17-2007]