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Philadelphia Time-traveling Poll


Philadelphia Time-Traveling Poll  

11 members have voted

  1. 1. Did you read my first post?

  2. 2. Where would you set up your business/residence?

    • The corner of 7th St and Market St.
    • The corner of 6th St and Chestnut St.
    • The corner of 6th St and Market St.
    • The corner of 6th and Walnut St
    • The corner of 5th and Spruce St
    • The corner of 5th and Market St.
    • Willing's Alley between 3rd St and 4th Street.
    • The corner of 3rd and Chestnut St
    • The corner of 3rd and Market St
    • The corner of 3rd and Arch St
    • Arch Street between 3rd and 2nd St
    • 2nd Street between Walnut and Chestnut Sts
    • Walnut Street between 3rd and 2nd St
    • The corner of Pine St and Lombard St
    • Market St between 2nd Street and Front Street (1st St)

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Let's say you move to Philadelphia in 1773, as the early staged of what becomes the American Revolution are playing out. You will stay in Philadelphia from 1773-1800. You will be there for the Declaration (1776) and other Continental Congress events. You will be there for the Constitutional Convention (1787). You will be there when Philadelphia is the nation's capital (1790-1800). 

Let's say, as a time traveler, your job is to record history daily in your diary for these 27 years. You will operate under the guise of being an inn-keeper, which will allow you a lot of free time since the upkeep won't be too much. You'll be able to blend in while keeping note of events. You'll live in your own room in the inn. 

If you were given this lucrative time-traveling position, where would you establish your inn/residence? 

  1. The corner of 7th St and Market St. 
    1. This is initially the outskirts of town. It's quiet, but an easy walk to everything. In 1776, Jefferson will write the Declaration just across the street. Once the government is formed, you'll live right next to the US Mint. 
  2. The corner of 6th St and Chestnut St. 
    1. You are right across the street from the State House (future Independence Hall). You are right next to James Oeller's Tavern, which operates as both a hotel and the 18th century version of a dance club. It is crowded and bustling but full of excitement. It will eventually also be the first place in Philadelphia to have ice cubes in their drinks in the 1790s. You also share your block with the Loganian Library, which is the more exclusive library in the city. 
  3. The corner of 6th St and Market St.
    1. You live right next to the grandest mansion in Philadelphia. You will see it owned first by Richard Penn (descendant of the founder of Pennsylvania), and then by financier Richard Morris, who lead the financing of the Revolution. Morris would then donate it to serve as the Presidential Mansion from 1790-1800, during the presidencies of Washington and Adams. On the same block is the Mary House boarding house, which will house several delegates for the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention. 
  4. The corner of 6th and Walnut St
    1. You place your business behind the State House (future Independence Hall), Congress Hall (where Congress will meet from 1790-1800), and the City Hall (later the Supreme Court building from 1790-1800). Philosophical Hall also shares the block, which is a meeting location for Philadelphian intellectuals. Across the street is the Loganian Library. Unfortunately, you also have the view of the towering Walnut Street Jail. Construction will last long, and then it will be somewhat of an eye-sore with prisoners yelling out from their cells. 
  5. The corner of 5th and Spruce St
    1. You live right next to the prominent Roman Catholic Church. Pennsylvania is much more tolerant to Catholics than many colonies. The wealthy William Shippen shares the same block. Across the street, is what will be James Madison's residence when he serves as a US Rep in the 1790s. This is a relatively quiet well-to-do block. 
  6. The corner of 5th and Market St.
    1. The famous marker of Market Street lines market street. It is loud, bustling, and smells of meat and fish. You share the block with the Academy (future University of Pennsylvania), and the Christ Church Burying Ground, resting place of the most famous Philadelphians. This is a good location if you want to be in the hustle and bustle of Philadelphia life while also being close to the relative quiet of academic property and a cemetery. 
  7. Willing's Alley between 3rd St and 4th Street. 
    1. You'll have to come home through a dark narrow alley. However, you technically share the block with several of the wealthiest and most influential Philadelphians, such as Financier and merchant Samuel Powel, PA Chief Justice Benjamin Chew, financier Thomas Willing, and financier William Bingham. Across the street from you is a Quaker school, a Quaker alms house and small fort, which holds the garrison that protects the town. 
  8. The corner of 3rd and Chestnut St
    1. Initially, you are position next to a sewer. The sewer will be replaced in the 1780s and the First US Bank and the office of the Sec of Treasury (Hamilton). You are also right next to the passageway to Carpenter's Hall, which will serve as the home of the First Continental Congress. You share the block with the Quaker Academy, a Quaker meeting house, a well-known tannery business, and the home of the future Dolly Madison.
  9. The corner of 3rd and Market St
    1. This is a bustling street. Market Street has a high-energy covered market. Shops line the streets. You live right next to a workhouse for the poor, but also next post office (soon to be first US post office) and Benjamin Franklin's printing press. Between the two is the pathway to Franklin's court, residence to Benjamin Franklin as well to several apartments rented out by Franklin for more income. In the 1790s the newspaper Aurora will be set up by Franklin's son-in-law on this block. It will be the most famous Jeffersonian and anti-Federalist newspaper in the country. You also share the block with the Indian Queen, which was both a famous tavern and inn. The Indian Queen houses several delegates to the Continental Congress and to the Constitutional Convention. 
  10. The corner of 3rd and Arch St
    1. Aside from the Harp & Crown tavern, this is a quiet street. You will place your business between this tavern and the Quaker burying ground. Across the street is the New Presbyterian Meetinghouse. George Washington rented a room at the Harp & Crown during the 1st Continental Congress and during the 2nd Continental Congress before he was named Commander-in-Chief and sent off to war. 
  11. Arch Street between 3rd and 2nd St
    1. You face Betsy Ross's house from across the street. She would make the first US flag. You are positioned right next to the Anabaptist Meeting House. Behind you is Christ Church (Anglican, later Episcopal), the grandest church in Philadelphia and the preferred church of most of the Founding Fathers. This neighborhood is upper middle class. 
  12. 2nd Street between Walnut and Chestnut Sts
    1. You position yourself next to the relatively new City Tavern, soon to be considered the #1 place for food and alcohol. It is frequented by the wealthiest of Philadelphia. The 2nd floor will hold a long room reserved for unofficial meetings and dining for the Founding Fathers. The upper floors are rooms, many rented by Founding Fathers. Across the Street is the house of wealthy merchant Thomas Bond. You also share the street with Mrs Marshall's Boarding House, where some delegates will live. Behind your inn/residence is Dock Street, which is an open sewer. Also on the street is the home of Philadelphian and delegate Thomas Fitzsimon's. In the 1790's, the famous Fraunces Tavern will move from NYC to Philadelphia and reside on this block. 
  13. Walnut Street between 3rd and 2nd St
    1. You place your business on Dock Street, facing an open sewer. However, you are a close walk to City Tavern, you are next to Alexander Hamilton's residence (1790s), and next to Bell's Print Shop which would publish Thomas Paine's Common Sense. Thomas Paine lives above the print shop. 
  14. The corner of Pine St and Lombard St
    1. You face New Market, a covered market similar to the one on market street but more exclusive. You are in what will soon be called Society Hill. It will gradually become a wealthier part of town. You are next to the Museum and Art studio of Charles Willson Peale. You face one of the newer Quaker Meeting Houses. This street will initially be quieter, but it will soon become busier. The downside is that you are away from most of the action going on in Philadelphia. 
  15. Market St between 2nd Street and Front Street (1st St)
    1. You are just south of the covered Market, avoiding much of the noise of the crowds, however, you are half a block from the port and the Delaware River, so you'll have the noise of maritime trade, of arriving immigrants, etc. You are positioned between Sarah Yard's Boarding House and the London Coffee House. John Adams, Samuel Adams, and the Massachusetts delegates would choose Yard's Boarding House as their location. You are also within a quick walk to Christ Church. 

To round out the city, above 8th street is pretty much rural. North of Arch Street seems to be largely immigrant communities, mostly German, but also other groups. Free blacks also seem to live in this area. 

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15 minutes ago, vcczar said:

Curious where @MrPotatoTed places himself

Ha, missed this one.  Made my choice based on what my assignment was and not wanting to hang about open sewers.  Though I wouldn't really accept such an offer, as I have a child -- I can't be gone for 27 years!  Ha.   Even if we assume that I return to the present day at the end of my mission, my body will surely be 27 years older, which puts me near death.  I'd go for a day or a week or even a month, but not 27 years! ;c)

Reminds me of Stephen King's 11/22/63, which is a great novel.  Modern day english teacher discovers a gateway to September 9, 1958.  He can go back and forth as he wishes -- but while his actions do changes things in the present, it always resets to Sept 9, 1958 when he goes back.  He decides to try to stop the Kennedy assassination, but of course has to live in the past, experiencing 1958 to 1963 in real time while trying to figure out how to stop the assassination when it's still not 100% clear how or why it happened...and all while the timeline is actively trying to get rid of him as an outsider who doesn't belong there.  One of the best books I've ever read.

But if I had access to time travel, I might be more likely to travel into the future to see how things turned out, both for my descendents and for the country.

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