August 9, 2017

Our historic travel challenge to the birthplaces and homes of the signers of the Declaration of Independence

Post a picture of yourself at one of the Birthplaces and Homes of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence featured in our Historic America Road Trip.

map-signers-of the-declaration-of-independence

Just add your photo to our Facebook page, or send it to us.

Betsy Elms Havens got this started with her great list featuring the Homes of America's Founding Fathers and Shauna McDonald Johnson's recent trip to Boston inspired this Challenge when she claimed four sites as a result of her single trip:

Pictured below, from left to right: The site where John Hancock's house once stood; John Quincy Adams's birthplace, not a Signer, though his home is just a stone's throw from his father's, who was a Signer; and, Peace Field, where they both lived.

Shauna Johnson at the sites for the Hancock Manor and the birthplaces and homes of John Adams and John Quincy Adams


These birthplaces and homes of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence

  • John Hancock's House Site—Boston, Massachusetts - Shauna Johnson (8/6/17)
  • Thomas Stone National Historic Site—Port Tobacco, Maryland
  • Morrisania—Bronx, New York
  • Fragments of Franklin Court—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Edward Rutledge House—Charleston, South Carolina
  • Heyward-Washington House—Charleston, South Carolina
  • Charles Carroll House—Annapolis, Maryland
  • Governor Stephen Hopkins House—Providence, Rhode Island
  • The Common Man—Merrimack, New Hampshire
  • John Witherspoon House—Princeton, New Jersey
  • Middleton Place—Charleston, South Carolina
  • Summerseat—Morrisville, Pennsylvania
  • Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest—Forest, Virginia
  • Wythe House—Williamsburg, Virginia
  • Abraham Clark Memorial House—Roselle, New Jersey
  • Nash-Hooper House—Hillsborough, North Carolina
  • Morven Museum & Garden—Princeton, New Jersey
  • Meadow Garden—Augusta, Georgia - Betsy Elms Havens (11/6/2017)
  • William Williams House—Lebanon, Connecticut
  • Francis Hopkinson House—Bordentown, New Jersey
  • Oliver Wolcott Library—Litchfield, Connecticut
  • William Paca House & Garden—Annapolis, Maryland
  • Josiah Bartlett House—Kingston, New Hampshire
  • Samuel Huntington Birthplace—Scotland, Connecticut
  • William Floyd Estate—Mastic Beach, New York
  • Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site—Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Menokin—Warsaw, Virginia
  • George Read House—New Castle, Delaware
  • Stonehurst, the Robert Treat Paine Estate—Waltham, Massachusetts
  • Shadwell—Shadwell, Virginia
  • Button Gwinnett House—St. Catherines Island, Georgia
  • George Taylor House—Catasauqua, Pennsylvania
  • Morton Homestead—Prospect Park, Pennsylvania
  • Hopsewee Plantation—Georgetown, South Carolina
  • Nelson House—Yorktown, Virginia
  • John Hart Homestead—Hopewell Borough, New Jersey
  • Moffatt-Ladd House & Garden—Portsmouth, New Hampshire
  • Stratford Hall, home of the Lees of Virginia—Stratford, Virginia
  • Elsing Green—Elsing Green, Virginia
  • Chase - Lloyd House—Annapolis, Maryland
  • Fort Wilson—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Byfield—Dover, Delaware
  • Benjamin Franklin Birthplace Site—Boston, Massachusetts - Shauna Johnson (8/6/17)
  • Samuel Adams House Site—Boston, Massachusetts
  • Matthew Thornton House—Derry, New Hampshire
  • Monticello—Charlottesville, Virginia
  • John Adams Birthplace - Adams National Historical Park—Quincy, Massachusetts - Shauna Johnson (8/3/17)
  • Joseph Hewes House—Edenton, North Carolina
  • Thomas McKean House Site—New London, Pennsylvania
  • John Penn's House—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Elbridge Gerry House—Marblehead, Massachusetts
  • Roger Sherman Town Hall—New Milford, Connecticut
  • Benjamin Rush House—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • “Hall's Knoll” Home of Dr. Lyman Hall—Midway, Georgia

Updated August 8, 2017


If you visited one of these that hasn't been claimed, post your photo to our Facebook page or send it to us, and if we have missed any birthplace or home, send us a note


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July 22, 2017

Patriotic Carving by Alexander Swasey from the collection of the Newport Historical Society


This hand-carved patriotic wood carving featuring an American Eagle with a distinctive patriotic pattern is attributed to Alexander Swasey (1820 - 1860), a noted woodcarver and boat-builder of Newport.

Carved around 1840, the eagle stands about four feet high and has a wingspan of about five feet.




Painted in colors of red, white, blue and gold. The talons of the eagle grasp a small cannon. The carving also includes a shield, the seal of the United States, Lady Liberty holding a staff and cap, a cornucopia with tobacco leaves, and sheaves of grain.








Little is know about this remarkable patriotic carving. It may have originally been made for a political or social group in Newport. For many years, after it ended its working life, the carving adorned the entrance to Bateman and Gardner's Meat Market on 5 and 7 Pelham Street in Newport.

The carving is now in the collection of the Newport Historical Society in Newport, Rhode Island, where this carving is currently on display.

In partnership with the Newport Historical Society, we created a t-shirt, sticker, and magnet with our rallying cry, "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of history," surrounding the patriotic wood carving. You may purchase them at The History List Store.


  "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of History" Collection

"Life, liberty, and the pursuit of history" Collection

"Life, liberty and the pursuit of history" Sticker


If your organization has a distinctive historic item that you'd like us to consider for a future design and product, please send us a photo and note.








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March 24, 2017

Historic America Road Trips to Visit Our Country’s Great Historic Sites

We’re kicking off a series of "Historic America Road Trips” and the first one focuses on the homes and birthplaces of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

It was compiled by Betsy Havens, one of the members of The History List community; other members of The History List community have contributed to it.

Here's Betsy:


"I live in Louisiana and visited Washington DC in 2012 for the first time.  I returned home a different person.  I made a side trip to Mount Vernon while there and just fell in absolute love and total fascination with George Washington.  After the DC/Mount Vernon trip I had a newfound appreciation for my country and its history.  I was also alarmed at how little I knew beyond the basics.  History was always one of my favorite subjects in school but I wasn’t motivated to learn anything more than what I had to learn to pass a test. 

Mount Vernon made such an impression on me that I became inspired to visit all founding father homes. I received the book,"The Founding Fathers, The Men Behind the Nation," as a Christmas gift, a few years ago, and began to realize how little I knew about our founding fathers. 

I also used that book as a launching point to start building my list and to start traveling to these sites.

I have friends and family who aren't necessarily interested in history, but I feel like they've become more interested after following my travels to these historic sites, and this makes me really happy.

My list isn’t a “this is the official list of founding fathers” list.  It’s really more of a starting point.

I've barely scratched the surface here.  Most of these men aren't 'household names.'  Making this list has helped me to learn more about the lesser known founding fathers like Caesar Rodney.  They each have their own unique, fascinating story and all made an immeasurable contribution to our nation's founding!"

Betsy’s original list included other patriots, too, so we created "Signers of the Declaration of Independence" and "Patriots of the American Revolution."

Have you taken a trip to see some of America's great historic sites?  If you'd like to share it with others, send it in and it may be the basis for another road trip we compile.  And if it is, we'll credit you and give you your choice of a shirt from The History List Store.




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April 20, 2017

Raising questions versus providing answers

From an article in the New York Times on the new Museum of the American Revolution just before it opened in Philadelphia:

“We’re trying to take a page from science museums, which are better than history museums generally about asking questions of visitors, and being more interested in raising questions than providing answers,” said R. Scott Stephenson, the [Museum of the American Revolution's] vice president for collections, exhibitions and programming. “Usually with a history museum, it’s more like history as found facts. This is more like: ‘Dinosaurs: Are they like birds or reptiles? Let’s look at the evidence.’”


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March 27, 2017

Contributing to The History List Travel Section and Seeing History Facebook Page


With summer near, we’re pulling together information on travel to historic sites, and we hope you’ll contribute your tips and recommendations—even entire trip itineraries and pictures—to create this helpful resource.

When I launched The History List my goal was to connect people to the historic sites, events and exhibits in their communities and across the country, so it seems only fitting that we’re adding a section of The History List dedicated to travel and we’re now focusing our sister Facebook page, Seeing History, to this same topic. 

Our first trip comes from Betsy Havens.  Betsy lives in Louisiana and has been on a mission to visit the homes of many of the Founding Fathers. Betsy wrote up her list, which we’ve posted in the new Travel section of The History List, and we’re also posting on our Seeing History Facebook page. 

Please send us a note if you’d like to have us post your trip, or send your questions and recommendations.  

Whether you have a list or itinerary to share or have questions as you plan a trip, we’d like to hear from you.


Lee Wright  |  Founder  |  The History List  |  History Camp




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