Description[Independence Hall]. Wooden Support Beam Taken from Independence Hall in 1897 with Two Supporting Documents. This historic piece of wood, which measures 44" x 10.5" x 10.5", lay under the feet of the Founding Fathers and witnessed the birth of a nation with the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
Two documents included with the beam attest to its authenticity. The first is a sworn affidavit signed by Samuel S. Reeves stating: "...that he occupied the position of Superintendent of Independence Hall, between the years 1892 and 1908, and that during the time of the restoration of Independence Hall in the year 1897, he came into possession of sixteen 12 in. x 14 in. x 5 ft. long beams or timbers, which were the original beams or timbers taken from under the flooring of Independence Hall, and that he preserved the said beams or timbers, and which said beams or timbers as originally taken and as the beams or timbers from the original building of Independence Hall before its restoration, is now turned over and delivered to the Wolf Art Company of Philadelphia, for the purpose of cutting same up and making relics."
A second sworn affidavit, also signed by Reeves and dated February 16, 1903, reads: "...I, Samuel S. Reeves, Superintendent of Independence Hall or the 'Old State House' in the city of Philadelphia do hereby certify that the wood out of which the 'canes' and 'miniature liberty bells' are manufactured was taken from the said Independence Hall or Old State House during the restoration of the said hall during the year 1897, and that the same is part of the original lumber and timbers out of which said Independence Hall or Old State House was built by Andrew Hamilton in the years 1732 to 1735 inclusive." Countersigned by the mayor of Philadelphia, the director of Public Safety, and the chief of the Bureau of City Property attesting to the accuracy of the testimony.
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