Discover the stories behind America’s revolutionary past and how they relate to your experiences today by visiting the American Independence Museum.


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One Governors Lane,
Exeter, NH 03833



Experience America’s Revolutionary History!  Located in historic Exeter, New Hampshire, the American Independence Museum features stories of the brave men and women who overcame their uncertainties about freedom from Great Britain and established our country.

"I know no way of judging of the future but by the past." – Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775, from speech in Virginia Convention, Richmond.

Henry’s words ring true more than 200 years later.  The men behind the American Revolution knew they were entering unknown territory when they declared freedom from Great Britain.  But their values are still cherished today, values considered traditionally “American” – greater opportunity, freedom from monarchy, and success based upon merit, not social class.

Tours and exhibits in the museum’s Ladd-Gilman House (1721), a National Landmark Property, introduce you to the Gilman family, prosperous Exeter merchants who become inextricably linked to the Revolution. The Folsom Tavern, down the hill from the Ladd-Gilman House, built c. 1775 by local entrepreneur Colonel Samuel Folsom, was the center of Exeter’s political scene during the Revolution.

The American Independence Museum exhibits highlight the Society of the Cincinnati, the nation’s oldest veterans’ society, and its first president, George Washington.  Among the museum’s permanent collection of documents chronicling the nation’s founding are an original Dunlap Broadside of the Declaration of Independence and early drafts of the U.S. Constitution.  Come view these fascinating documents throughout our open season and learn the story behind them, too.  Permanent collections include American furnishings, ceramics, silver, textiles and military ephemera.

In 1985, a Dunlap Broadside of the Declaration of Independence was found in the Ladd-Gilman House.  This amazing discovery is now a major focus of the museum’s collections and programming.  The museum was founded in 1991 to display this rare document and teach visitors our nation’s founding principles.


One Governors Lane,
Exeter, NH 03833

By phone: 603-772-2622

By email


Whether, its leading guided tours, teaching school programs, assisting in the office, or serving customers in the Museum Gift Shop, you can be an invaluable part of our team. Click here for a Volunteer Application form.