Carpenters' Hall was designed by architect Robert Smith in the Georgian style based on both the town halls of Scotland, where Smith was born, and the villas of Palladio in Italy. It would be first used as a meeting site by the guild on January 21, 1771, and would continue to hold annual meetings there until 1777 when the British captured Philadelphia.
The First Continental Congress of the United Colonies of North America met here from September 5 to October 26, 1774, since the Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hall) was being used by the moderate Provincial Assembly of Pennsylvania. It was here that Congress resolved to ban further imports of slaves and to discontinue the slave trade within the colonies, a step toward phasing out slavery in British North America.
According to John Adams:
"At ten the delegates all met at the City [or Smith's] Tavern, and walked to the Carpenters' Hall, where they took a view of the room, and of the chamber where is an excellent library… The general cry was, that this was a good room, and the question was put, whether we were satisfied with this room? and it passed in the affirmative." The Journal entry briefly records that on Monday, September 5, 1774, "A number of the Delegates chosen and appointed by the Several Colonies and Provinces in North America to meet and hold a Congress at Philadelphia assembled at the Carpenters' Hall...."
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