Visitors to Philadelphia can soon climb aboard a replica Revolutionary era privateer ship in the heart of the city's historic district, while staying firmly planted on land.

The Museum of the American Revolution will feature one-half of a life-sized privateer ship as a primary immersive exhibit when it opens next year, blocks from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Visitors will walk a ramp onto the boat and learn stories about the lesser known parts of the American Revolution, including the story of 14-year-old James Forten.

Forten was a free African-American boy who served the war effort at sea on a similar privateer ship. Historian R. Scott Stephenson says he "represents a founding generation" that spanned ethnicities, backgrounds and ages. Forten became a wealthy Philadelphia businessman.

The museum is set to open in April.