Monday, May 31, 2010

Philadelphia Story - Part 6: Christ Church

Many of our founding fathers were men of faith. This continent was first settled upon by people seeking religious freedom. It was the faith of our founders that led to those famous words, captured in the Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." It was also the basis of the Constitution, about which John Adams said "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

It should come as no surprise, then, that our founders were also active in the churches they attended. One such church is Christ Church. Among the members were Benjamin Franklin, Robert Morris, and George Washington. Seven signers of the Declaration are buried in the church grounds or the church cemetery annex a few blocks away. This church looks and feels very much like the Christ Church in Old Alexandria, VA, about which we blogged in the past.

Construction of the current church building began in 1727. The steeple was a prominent feature in the Philadelphia skyline of 1776.

It is a beautiful, wooded setting. The church grounds are the final resting place of two signers of the Declaration of Independence.

The interior is classic, beautiful historic church motif. Pew plaques mark where the Washingtons, Penns, and Betsy Ross had personal pews.

Christ Church Cemetery is the final resting place of Benjamin Franklin. Note on the right a plaque citing the epitaph he wrote for himself (click on picture to enlarge).

The burial site of Mr. Franklin. Note the long list of accomplishments on the plaque (r).

A classic, colonial-era cemetery. Are we a touch macabre by taking and post such pictures ??

There are five signers of the Declaration buried in Christ Church Cemetery. Each has his own plaque, like the one above. We don't know much about Francis Hopkinson, but he was an accomplished man in his own right.

Well, you all have been very persistent, diligent, and/or loyal to wade through these posts. To reward you, we promise that the final posting from our Philadelphia trip is coming up.

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