In 1774, delegates from 12 colonies gathered here and voted to support a trade embargo against England.
The cry for independence was hardly unanimous.
The First Continental Congress, held at Carpenters’ Hall , was the first and only time that Americans across the political spectrum gathered to debate issues. Fiery patriots such as Patrick Henry addressed the 1774 meeting and never spoke nationally again.
By 1776, extremely conservative and extraordinarily radical Americans became suspicious of national gatherings and refused to participate.
The building itself deserves recognition all on its own. Built by craftsmen for craftsmen, the Flemish bond brick pattern, cupola and windows are almost flawless examples of Georgian architecture. Inside, a scale model shows 18th-century methods used in the building’s construction.
Kids can have a scavenger hunt to find out who Benjamin Franklin and John Jay held secret meetings with inside the hall during the Revolutionary War.
Floor tiles were a 19th-century addition. Ironically, the supplier, a British firm, also supplied tiles for the U.S. Capitol.