The American Independence Museum is located in the restored Ladd-Gilman House, which was built in 1721. The complex is comprised of the 18th century Ladd-Gilman House, Folsom Tavern, and over an acre of landscaped property in downtown Exeter
. Their collections focus on the history of three prominent New Hampshire families (the Ladds, the Gilmans and the Folsoms), the museum providing an educational resource and historic site for study, research and interpretation of the American Revolution and Colonial life in New Hampshire.
Formerly known as Cincinnati Hall, the house served as the State Treasury during the American Revolution. John Taylor Gilman, an early governor of New Hampshire, lived here during his 14 gubernatorial terms.
The most important holdings in the American Independence Museum are the two original drafts of the U.S. Constitution (Committee of Style and Committee of Detail) and the Dunlap Broadside of the Declaration of Independence. Other important items in the collection include letters and documents by General George Washington, General Henry Knox; and Major Pierre Charles L'Enfant. Portraits of George Washington and other statesmen; furnishings, tableware, silver and decorative arts from the 18th and 19th centuries; and 18th century weapons and military ephemera are also to be found within its walls.The museum complex also features the Folsom Tavern, which was built in 1775. Guided tours are available.