Museum conservators take readings of the Gunboat Philadelphia

Donate to Support Preservation of the Gunboat Philadelphia

The gunboat Philadelphia brings to life a war fought centuries ago by individuals determined to seek independence. Its story is one of intrigue, risk, strategy, and a war hero turned traitor. The battered gunboat’s recovery in the 1930s and transfer to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History almost 30 years later gave it a second life. With its acquisition came an immense responsibility to the patriots of the Revolutionary War and the Americans of today and tomorrow.

The museum now leads a major effort against time to raise more than $3.5 million to conserve the quickly deteriorating vessel within public view. This multi-year project will allow the Philadelphia to be back on full display by the nation’s 250th anniversary in 2026. The gunboat will later be rehoused in an enhanced exhibition space that better supports its conservation needs.

Not often do we have a chance to save the very treasures that helped shape our nation.

Make a gift today to preserve the only known gunboat to survive the Revolutionary War era and to ensure its legacy for future generations. With matching support from a Save America’s Treasures grant, your donation will have double the impact!

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Featured conservation photo

Iron oxidation on iron nails and fittings on Gunboat Philadelphia
Iron oxidation on iron nails and fittings on Gunboat Philadelphia