Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution - Bill of Rights

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Preservation and Proposition

Our mission is to document the pivotal Second Amendment events that occurred in Frontier Mercersburg, and its environs, and to heighten awareness of the importance of these events in the founding of our Nation.

We are dedicated to the preservation of the place where the Second Amendment was "born" and to the proposition that the Second Amendment (the "right to bear arms") is the keystone of our Liberty and the Republic.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

2nd Amendment House - "Revealed" (Part I)

By JW Ross

In Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, underneath a 20 century renovation preservationists are finding a very old and very important house. A house that is not only connected to the time of the Indian wars (1750 to 1760) but, more importantly, to the stirrings of the American Revolution and the principles of the 2nd Amendment.

Speculation abounds as to what the now two-story Smith House looked like in 1765.
Far from what is considered to be the "birthplace of the American Revolution", the greens and bridges of Boston, stands this unassuming structure that some scholars say was the true "manger" of the revolution. Absent a brick 2nd floor and a multiplicity of overhanging porches (added in the early 1900's) a one and a half story stone house emerges. Quarried from local stone the house has the classic finish and proportions of a traditional "Ulster" Irish house typical of the 1700's. In a cornerstone, facing south is carved the unmistakable "W S" for the owner, Justice William Smith.

That said, stone houses in the Conococheague in late 50's early 1760's were unusual, largely because they were costly to quarry and construct. Those that did exist were places of business or homes of public officials and wealthy landowners. Indeed, as late as 1798, only 7 percent of houses in Franklin County were stone. Ninety percent were log and the rest divided between brick and frame. Although Ulster architecture in the Conococheague was the most prevalent, vernacular variations were quite common. Even though the first story of the Smith house is reasonably in tact (including a great exposed chimney), because the original roof was removed, we can't be sure if the shingle roof was a typical steep pitched Ulster roof or a German influenced variation. Regardless, the roof more than likely had "pents", or overhangs over the doors, and steps of wood or stone down from a raised threshold. . . . (More to come)

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