American Independence Museum

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Founded in 1991 with the strength and guidance of the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of New Hampshire, the Exeter Community and State of New Hampshire, the American Independence Museum celebrates what it took to create the freedoms that Americans continue to enjoy today.

Located in Exeter, New Hampshire’s Revolutionary War Capital, the Museum serves residents, schoolchildren and area visitors by making our past relevant and fun. We want to encourage people to appreciate all who fought for our freedom and continue to fight for it. We believe we can learn from the past and apply it to the future.


Discover the stories behind America’s revolutionary past and how they relate to your experiences today by visiting the American Independence Museum.  Located in historic Exeter, New Hampshire, the museum features stories of the brave men and women who overcame their uncertainties about freedom from Great Britain and established our country.

Tours and exhibits in the museum’s Ladd-Gilman House (1721), a National Landmark Property, introduce you to the Gilman family, prosperous Exeter merchants who become inextricably linked to the Revolution. The Folsom Tavern, down the hill from the Ladd-Gilman House, built c. 1775 by local entrepreneur Colonel Samuel Folsom, was the center of Exeter’s political scene during the Revolution.

The American Independence Museum exhibits highlight the Society of the Cincinnati, the nation’s oldest veterans’ society, and its first president, George Washington.  Among the museum’s permanent collection of documents chronicling the nation’s founding are an original Dunlap Broadside of the Declaration of Independence and early drafts of the U.S. Constitution.  View these fascinating documents during the museum’s annual American Independence Festival.  Permanent collections include American furnishings, ceramics, silver, textiles and military ephemera.