Indian King Tavern News head
233 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield, NJ, 08033

Benjamin Franklin Visits Indian King
Reenactor Enthralls Sunday Crowd

Benjamin Franklin 1 Benjamin Franklin 2
HADDONFIELD, N.J. (March 19, 2000) -- Arriving by carriage and accompanied by an official of the Historical Society of Haddonfield, Dr. Benjamin Franklin arrived to lecture to an enthusiastic crowd at the Indian King Tavern Museum today. Inside he was greeted by museum manager William Mason (right) and docent, Brad Mattson.

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Played by Dean Bennett, who has become famous for his portrayals at Philadelphia's Independence Hall, Franklin regaled an audience in the Indian King's second floor Assembly Room with tales of his escapades in France and the experiments with electricity that once knocked him unconscious for two hours.

Benjamin Franklin 5 Benjamin Franklin 6
Bringing history to life (above, left), Franklin explained how delegates debating the wording of the Declaration of Independence were so concerned with keeping their remarks secret that they had the windows of Independence Hall nailed shut. Ultimately, the stifling summer heat forced them to strip off their coats and shirts.

Before leaving the Indian King, Franklin scrawled his ornate and authentic-looking 18th century signature on students' papers (above, right).

The event was sponsored by the N.J. State Park Service and the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.

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© 2000, Hoag Levins


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