Please select these dates in the calendar at right for online booking or contact us to learn more about this Journey!
- Tour, learn, and get to know a leading scholar, Dr. Richard Bell—a once in a lifetime opportunity for anyone passionate about American History
- Gain exclusive access to the city's landmark historical sites and museums alongside a small group of likeminded learners
- Explore new perspectives as you follow the footsteps of the ordinary Americans who experienced the Revolutionary War firsthand
- Unwind and enjoy an all-inclusive experience crafted to take all logistics off your plate
- This journey is based on Dr. Bell's hit Wondrium course Ordinary Americans in the Revolution and is presented in partnership with Wondrium.
Our custom-tailored multi-day itinerary balances experiences at landmark historical sites with explorations of more intimate, residential settings which have been preserved in Old City. We'll transition from exploring the collections of the Museum of the American Revolution and the Library Company of Philadelphia to walking the cobblestones of the oldest residential street in America and paying homage at the final resting place of Benjamin Franklin. Context historians will also introduce us to the daily lives of ordinary Americans during this period – including soldiers, midwives, clerks, smugglers, shopkeepers, and enslaved people.
This survey of Revolution-era Philadelphia will provide a comprehensive overview of the United States' most formative years and dive deep into the stories of everyday people that made Philadelphia one of the most influential cities of early America.
DAY 1 – Arrival & Getting Settled
Highlights: Evening drinks, Welcome Dinner with Dr. Richard Bell and John Bright
We will arrive in Philadelphia and check-in to the exquisitely restored boutique Kimpton Hotel Monaco–located inside the historic Lafayette Building in Old City Philadelphia.
At a Glance:
- Arrive from the airport and check-in to our hotel in charming Old City
- Meet our fellow travelers and enjoy a cocktail hour
- An introduction from Dr. Bell, which will set the scene for the weekend's historical themes to explore together
- Enjoy a fine meal, accompanied by Context Experts
Day 2 – The Roots of the American Revolution
Highlights: Elfreth's Alley, Christ Church, Library Company of Philadelphia, and more
Our journey introduces us to the men and women who made history happen, but who are largely unknown to us now. We'll contextualize their daily lives and struggles as we walk the cobblestones streets of Old City in the company of John Bright and Dr. Richard Bell.
At a Glance:
- Our day begins with a stroll from the hotel to Elfreth's Alley home to 32 of the nations oldest historic homes.
- We'll venture to Christ Church, the final resting place of Benjamin Franklin.
- Following a pause for coffee, we'll enjoy a tour of the historic Powel House
- Fun Fact: Samuel Powel was the last mayor to serve Philadelphia under the Crown and was the first mayor of the new nation.
- We will enjoy a group lunch near Headhouse Square – one of the nation's oldest surviving markets.
- Our afternoon resumes with a private tour of the Library Company of Philadelphia, founded by Franklin as the nation's first lending library. Guests will have the opportunity to examine Revolution-era artifacts, newspapers, currency, and more.
- The tour portion of our day concludes with visits to the Physick House.
- Following free time in the city, our group re-convenes for a relaxing dinner together.
Day 3 – Independence National Historic Park
Duration: Half Day
Highlights: Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Carpenter's Hall
Meals included: Lunch
Our focus shifts to the formation of the American government, as we learn more about Philadelphia's unique role during the nation's first Congressional sessions.
At a Glance:
- The day begins with exclusive Early-Access to the Museum of American Revolution – before their collection opens to the daily public.
- We'll then stroll across the cobblestoned street to reach Carpenter's Hall – the site of America's first Continental Congress.
- Our group then pauses at Independence Hall and Liberty Hall.
- Following lunch with Dr. Bell, the group is welcome to depart for home.
- Alternatively, we invite you to enjoy a tour of the interior of Independence Hall. Please indicate your interests for the afternoon at the time of booking.
To reserve a spot on this tour, select April 1-3 in the booking calendar at the top right of this page or email email@example.com to contact us. We will charge a non-refundable deposit per person to reserve your place. A single supplement will apply to individual travelers who wish to have a private room. Details are available at checkout.
For Departure One, the full balance will be due no later than February 1, 2022.
For Departure Two, the full balance will be due no later than March 18, 2022.
Dr. Richard Bell is Professor of History at the University of Maryland. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University and has won more than a dozen teaching awards, including the University System of Maryland Board of Regents Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, the Library of Congress and is the recipient of the Andrew Carnegie Fellowship and the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar Award. Professor Bell is the author of the new book "Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home," which was shortlisted for the George Washington Prize and the Harriet Tubman Prize.
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