Home of Charles Thomson, secretary of the Continental Congresses
Perched amidst 16 acres of parklands, Harriton House quietly holds a place in America’s history. Built in 1704 by a wealthy Welsh Quaker, it changed hands and eventually became home to Charles Thomson, an abolitionist who ran his farm using only paid laborers. When England’s policies became intolerable, Thomson joined other patriots in taking a stand. He became secretary to both Continental Congresses.
The original desk where Thomson signed the copy of the Declaration of Independence that was sent to King George is discreetly placed in Harriton’s great hall. Other artifacts and architectural details, including the attached kitchen – unusual for its day, and the bedroom balcony, reflect Thomson’s quiet but elegant lifestyle.
Thomson introduced and wrote about some radical new concepts to 18th century farming but it wasn’t until the 1930s that scientists would fully understand the science that makes composting beneficial. Today, composting is a widespread practice for everyone from casual gardeners to large corporate farms and it plays a critical role in reducing landfill deposits.