Thursday, August 13, 2009

Second Bank of the United States

Carpenters' Hall was designed by architect Robert Smith (1722-1777) in the Georgian style and built as a four-story brick building between 1770 and 1773 by the Carpenters' Company. It would be first used as a meeting site by the guild on January 21, 1771, and would continue to hold annual meetings there until 1777 when the British would capture Philadelphia. On April 23, 1773 (St. George's Day), it would be used by the Society of Englishmen and Sons of Englishmen.

The First Continental Congress of the United Colonies of North America met here from September 5 to October 26, 1774, since the Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hall) was being used by the moderate Provincial Assembly of Pennsylvania. It was here that Congress resolved to ban further imports of slaves and to discontinue the slave trade within the colonies, a step toward phasing out slavery in British North America. The building has a long history as an assembly place and has been the home to numerous tenants in the arts, sciences and commerce. The meeting hall served as a hospital for both British and American troops in the Revolutionary War, and other institutions in Philadelphia have held meetings in Carpenters' Hall, including Franklin's Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Philosophical Society, the First and Second Banks of the United States.

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