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President's House: Your Thoughts Archive: 2008

Why did the government move to Philadelphia from new york?
Andrew, Elmhurst Illinois [12-31-2008]

Dear Anonymous, In answer to 12-05-08 question...No president "proposed establishing the new permanent capital on federal land," rather it's mandated by the Constitution of the United States. It's in Article 1 Section 8: "[The Congress shall] exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States..." So, if you ever wondering why Washington DC was square shaped, now you know, it's mandated by the Constitution.
Bill, Philadelphia, PA [12-19-2008]

Caroline-+ [12-11-2008]

Which president proposed establishing the new permanent capital on federal land rather than in a state? What year was this proposed?
anonymous, u.s.a [12-05-2008]

The HBO special on John Adams seems to imply that the Washington's trashed the presidents house upon their departure. See the end of part 5 of this series. Is this true?
Roger Haskell, Scotia, New York [11-08-2008]

How many US Presidents have been attorneys and what kind of law did they practice. Who was the last president to have Obama's law experience ? This is a great site. Thanks ! Thanks !
Dean, Pasadena, CA [11-02-2008]

Thank you for making the presidents house video. It was a very interesting piece of history I did not learn from my history teacher. As an 18 year old african american, I am very happy that I have learned more about my history and that you are doing your best to have the 9 africans that president Washington remembered.
Raymond Glasper, Madison,IL United States of America [08-28-2008]

I really enjoyed the video and I learned a lot from the video so thanks 2 u all
Julian, madison il,62090 [08-28-2008]

i think your web site is all right but i think you need to maybe put some more videos or just make it more intresting. Just a little more intresting.
Kevin Ashe, Kelso WA 98626 [07-10-2008]

i luv this wedsite all the great features i am doing a project and it really helped me
fadwa ahmed, jersey city,new jersey,usa [07-09-2008]

re slave passageway dear sir/madam, i recommend that the slave passageway be kept intact and presentable to the public. truth is always best, and to offer this depth of consideration to the public, would be productive of greater capacity for consideration and perhaps generative of wisdom; of which is a great legacy for the future. i look forward to visiting this special site. thank you for your service in this matter and most sincerely and respectfully yours mrs renee hardy july 4, 2008
mrs renee hardy, taos new mexico [07-04-2008]

I wanted ask the status of the project of building this interpretive mesuem, it seems nothing is happening??
gary, phila pa [07-03-2008]

The U.S. Presidency and Slavery. If last summer's archeology taught us anything, it is that the power of this site is the juxtaposition of the historically glorious and the historically infamous. This tension creates a setting unique in this country, one in which we all can find a way to connect with our shared history -- the good and the bad. The President's House is key to understanding our national identity, and should be a place of learning, remembrance and reflection. Its potential for healing and reconciliation is too great for the designers to think small. Rebuild the house, including the slave quarters!
Frank Holly, Philadelphia [06-20-2008]

Mary [06-19-2008]

DR. RONALD BARNA Jr.D.Philo., 98 Washington Street /Freeland, PA 18224-2143 [06-08-2008]

i loved the video of the house in philedelphia
jacob, apex north carilina [06-01-2008]

My husband and I made our first visit to Philadelphia over the Memorial Day weekend. Because I am an avid historical preservation fan, I was dismayed to see that Philadelphia does not have a very strict preservation society, along the lines of the society in Charleston, SC. Once our national treasures are gone, they're gone, as is evidenced by your article. Granted, there isn't much we could have done about this since the original house was gutted in 1832, but it underlines the importance of having national guidelines for preservation of historical buildings so they are not at the mercy of the whims of future generations. I was also dismayed at the way some of the public areas of our national treasures are kept. In front of the Liberty Bell building, the landscaping is overgrown and there are weeds and open dirt areas surrounding the perimeter of the building, especially near the wall where you can listen to taped messages. The grounds surrounding the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall need to be in PRISTINE condition, much the same way our monuments in Washington, DC are kept. Why doesn't Philadelphia tap into federal dollars for the upkeep and preservation of all of the wonderful historical treasures that you have? Why isn't the preservation society more powerful and have stricter rules and enforcement of these priceless properties. More needs to be done before these treasures decay. For instance, during our tour of the inside of Independent Hall, the visitors were allowed to touch and lean on the railing of the original Supreme Courtroom. This isn't right. This should be roped off and the visitors should stand back and away and not be allowed to lean on or touch the interior structure. This will lead to a rapid decay and decline of the interior of Independence Hall. Perhaps a meeting of Philadelphia's preservation society with the Charleston SC preservation society is in order to learn how to better preserve our heritage before it is gone.
Lisa MacDowell, Cleveland Ohio [05-28-2008]

jenisha [05-18-2008]

anonymous, Litiz PA usa [05-07-2008]

I would like to find information and Pictures of John Stamper mayor of Philadelphia in 1759. Thankyou
Marc F. Stein, Philadelphia, Pa [04-20-2008]

In the HBO series "John Adams" the President's House in Philadelphia was in shambles as the Adams moved in. They had a black servant/slave explaining that "they" took everything, but it is not clear who "they" were. Can you add some detail to this?
anonymous [04-16-2008]

Washington vacated the President's House on March 9, 1797, within a few days of Adams's inauguration. He left behind two of his secretaries to oversee the transition. Abigail was not present, but Adams wrote her: "The furniture belonging to the public is in the most deplorable condition. There is not a chair to sit in. The beds and bedding are in a woeful pickle. This house has been been a scene of the most scandalous drinking and disorder among the servants that I ever heard of. I would not have one of them for any consideration. There is not a carpet nor curtain, nor any glass, nor linen, nor china, nor anything." -- JA to AA, March 22, 1797. Following the repainting of the interior, Adams took occupancy of the house on March 21.

In the HBO series, the line many couldn't understand spoken by the servant was, "The staff had quite the jubilee when the General took his leave, sir."
-Ed Lawler, Jr., historian

I just want to know what is the main idea of the article "Washington Slept Here"
anonymous [04-10-2008]

In 1996 Robert Venturi, the renowned Philadelphia architect, was hired by the Pew Charitable Trusts to rethink Independence Mall. This occured in the wake of Independence Park's announcement that it intended to move the Liberty Bell from the first block to the second. Part of Venturi's master plan was to rebuild the historic buildings that had stood directly opposite Congress Hall and Old City Hall to create an 18th-century context for Independence Hall. One of these recreated buildings was to house the Independence Park Institute.

Recreating historic buildings was contrary to architectural orthodoxy (it still is), but Venturi's proposal opened the door to the possibility.

Venturi's master plan for the Mall was not adopted, but Independence Park threw out its disasterous plans and held public meetings on the redesign on September 25 and 26, 1996. There, three people stood and urged that the President's House be rebuilt, although Independence Park officials replied that recreations of historic buildings were against National Park Service policy. Edward Hermance's letter urging that the house be rebuilt appeared in The Inquirer on September 1, and James Cunningham's on October 2.

My October 13 letter, "Washington Slept Here," combined these ideas and proposed that the Independence Park Institute be housed in a recreation of the President's House.

A lot has happened in the 11 years since then. Most of the misinformation about the physical building has been cleared away, and we know that 9 enslaved Africans shared the house with President Washington. Whether the house is ever rebuilt, the building, its residents, and the history that took place there will not be forgotten again.

-Ed Lawler, Jr., historian

I am interested to know where John Adams live while serving as Vice President. Was there a Vice President's house in Philadelphia? Did Jefferson live in theVPs house as well? Regards, Jonathan
Jonathan Sun, Wilmington [04-07-2008]

i want to kearn how the president moved from one place to another
jess, Martin,S.D [04-04-2008]

how did john adams became a president????? what did he do????
camille, gilbert AZ 85233 [04-02-2008]

Wow! That's small! in english doing some research on Sojourner gtg..byee..
anonymous [03-14-2008]

i like the new presidents house
angel, cleveland ohio [02-28-2008]

Thank you very much for posting the entire 3-part story of "The President's House in Philadelphia." I just read all of it in one sitting. The results of Mr. Lawler's research, and his willingness to credit others for their research, is very exciting. If at first you don't succeed, knock at someone else's door!
Pat Fletcher, Tacoma, WA [02-23-2008]

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