Wednesday, January 19, 2011

History Comes Alive

As a former history major, I love going to places that make history come alive. Fortunately, Don and Ashley also enjoy these activities.

On Monday night we dined with Oney Judge and Betsy Ross at the Cock-n-Bull's Colonial Kitchen nights ( The restaurant provides a fixed price meal in a Colonial decorated room. Two Colonists come up to your table and tell you a bit more about their lives. They answer every question with warmth and as accurately as possible.

On our evening we were introduced to Oney Judge, who was Martha Washington's personal slave from during the Revolutionary War to when George Washington was President. We learned at that time if a slave spent at least 6 months in Philadelphia and wanted to be free, all the slave had to do was state he wanted to be free. The Washingtons knew this, so they moved their slaves out of Philadelphia before the six month mark. As they were packing to leave, she snuck away. Her friends transported her to New Hampshire by boat where she lived the rest of her life as a fugitive. We could have talked to her all night.

Betsy Ross also stopped by for a brief visit. She told us how she was chosen to make the flag, however she emphasized she was not the only woman who made flags for the new country. She taught Ashley the easy way to make a star, just like the ones on her flag.

The meal fun was fun. This was our third Colonial meal in three years. We have also dined with artists Charles Willson Peale and his niece, Miriam. Last year we met Don's favorite Colonist, Ben Franklin, who was with John Hancock. We find it best to come with some off-beat questions and ears willing to listen to stories.

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