Points Of Interest

Point #1
You’ve Arrived

2nd St Station, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 675
  • Attraction : None
https://www.septa.org/stations/transit/subway/2nd.html

Hello! I’m Aaron Killian for Historic America and I’m excited to be your personal tour guide and storyteller today! Whatever mode of transportation you use to get here, a good starting point for today’s tour is the intersection of Market & 2nd Street - nearby the 2nd Street subway station. Once you arrive, note the open lawn area on the northwest corner of the intersection. Keep this patch of green to your left as you walk north along 2nd street. This will lead you to the first attraction on our tour, Christ Church, which you’ll see to your left front as you walk up 2nd Street. As you walk, I’ll talk. Today’s Founding Fathers Footsteps tour will introduce you to the personal stories of America’s founding generation, by exploring the actual sites where they lived and worked here in historic Philadelphia. We'll see the home of Betsy Ross, the grave of Benjamin Franklin, the place where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and so much more. Alright, now that I’ve set the scene, the story will continue as you near Christ Church.

Point #2
The Founding Fathers

18 N 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 1036
  • Attraction : Christ Church
https://www.christchurchphila.org/history/

As you walk up 2nd, to your left, you should see the red brick exterior of Christ Church - a terrific place to begin our journey today, since this historic church hosted scores of America’s founding fathers & mothers for worship services throughout the revolutionary era. Position yourself so that you have a good view of the church. Though it may not seem like it today, at the time of the American Revolution, Philadelphia was the most important city in America. With 38,000 inhabitants, it was also the most populous. New York was a distant second; Washington, DC didn’t exist until 1800. Boston was certainly an important commercial city, but not the seat of culture and government like Philadelphia. What happened in this city from the early 1700s through the early 1800s didn’t just change American history, it changed the world we live in today - and the people who worshipped at Christ Church were many of the people who helped make that change. The building of Christ Church itself was a landmark moment in the history of colonial America, and a jewel in Philadelphia’s crown. The church itself dates all the way back to 1695 - and the building you see today opened in 1744 with the steeple being placed atop the church in 1754. It’s almost 200 feet high, and at the time, it made Christ Church the tallest building in the colonies and later the United States (a record it would hold for over 50 years)! This is a fact that no doubt impressed many of the founding generation who worshipped inside the church. You might know some of their names, George & Martha Washington, John & Abigail Adams, Betsy Ross, Robert Morris, Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Rush and dozens of members of the Continental Congress & Constitutional Convention. On our journey today, we’ll be sharing many of their stories with you! If you wish to pause the tour and explore the church, feel free. Our tour continues on. Now continue up 2nd street as I talk about timelines. As we make our way through the stories of various founders today we’re going to be jumping around the early American timeline quite a bit. So let’s review a couple key points in order to keep everything clear as we move long. Before 1775, the American states were colonies of Great Britain - but they grew tired of Britain’s taxation policies and under the leadership of a band of radical patriots, the states united in staging a rebellion and declaring independence from British rule in 1776. That declaration was made here in Philadelphia by a group known as the Second Continental Congress - so named because (chronologically) they came one year after the First Continental Congress. Both Congresses were made up of representatives from across the colonies and they met here in Philly in order to coordinate a resistance against unjust British rule. The rebellion would last until 1783, at which time the treaty of Paris was signed and the United States officially won their freedom. The former colonies became free, fiercely independent states and they were loosely held together by a weak central government (organized under a system called the Articles of Confederation). In 1787, a convention of state delegates was called to create a new system. That convention met here in Philadelphia - in the same building where the 2nd Continental Congress had declared independence. The convention would produce the Constitution of the United States which laid down the rules of the new, strengthened, federal government and within a few years of its creation that same federal government would (temporarily) reside in Philadelphia from 1790-1800. So our tour today is going to jump around within that crowded hour of American history which took place here in Philly - from the revolution, to the constitution, to the young Republic. Make sense? Ok. I’ll meet you up ahead at the intersection of Arch & 2nd.

Point #3
Arch & N 2nd St.

2nd St & Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 131
  • Attraction : None
None

Turn left off 2nd Street onto Arch Street. Walk down the right hand side of Arch Street until you encounter the Betsy Ross House on your right. I’ll meet you there.

Point #4
Betsy Ross

239 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 310
  • Attraction : Betsy Ross House
http://historicphiladelphia.org/betsy-ross-house/what-to-see/

On your right hand side, you should see a modest brick house which is likely overhung with an American flag. This modest domicile was the home of none other than Betsy Ross - a Philadelphia woman and founding mother who has been credited as the creator of the American flag. Directly beside the home is a small brick plaza wherein you can find Betsy’s grave. If you’re visiting during operating hours, feel free to explore; just note that there is a small admission fee if you wish to enter inside. Let me tell you a bit about Betsy & her home. Originally Elizabeth Griscom, Betsy was one of 17 children born into a large family of Philadelphia Quakers - the Christian sect who founded the colony of Pennsylvania. Quakers like Betsy were known for their pacifism, tolerance of others, and their fondness for broad brimmed hats (like on the Quaker Oats box!). Being trained as an upholsterer from girlhood, Betsy was handy with a needle and thread. She got her last name when she eloped with John Ross at the age of 21 - a scandal within her family because Betsy would leave Quakerism and convert to John’s Episcopalian faith. Toward the beginning of the Revolution, John died, leaving Betsy a widow. She would soon remarry and relocate to this house, running a successful sewing & upholstery business out of the home. When it comes to telling the story of Betsy Ross, it is often hard to separate truth from legend. Although there are many myths about her life and legacy, Ross’s close relationship with George Washington was very real. The two had a notable friendship and there are multiple pieces of evidence demonstrating their cordiality. Betsy Ross attended Christ Church alongside George Washington during their shared time in Philadelphia - their pews were directly adjacent to one another’s. Betsy’s daughter recalled how her mother would entertain Washington at this house during friendly visits.The two also had business matters to take care of. During the Revolutionary War, George hired Betsy to embroider & tailor many pieces of his uniform, usually adding ruffles to his shirts (she also made him bed curtains). The most important piece of wartime business that (supposedly) transpired between Betsy and George was, of course, Washington’s request that Betsy fabricate the first American flag. Many believe that the only reason Betsy Ross was awarded this opportunity was due to her existing friendship with Washington - which stands to reason. It also helped that Betsy’s former uncle-in-law served on the Congress’ flag design committee, which meant he likely had a soft spot for Betsy and wanted to throw some work her way. The big debate however, is over the amount of influence she had over the flag’s design, and if she was indeed, the sewer of the first flag. Here’s our historical ‘best guess’ - although the flag was designed by Congress, Washington likely brought the design to Betsy - in this house - and asked her to create it. When George asked Betsy if she believed herself up-to-the-task, Betsy reportedly responded, “I do not know, but I will try.” At-a-girl Betsy! We also know she chose the 5 pointed star, rather than Washington’s original request of a 6 pointed star. Her reasoning? 5 points are easier. She would continue to make flags for the rest of her working life and although there are no written records to prove it - Betsy is the most likely first sewer of an American flag. When you’re finished here, continue walking along Arch street toward our next stop - the grave of Benjamin Franklin. A quick note - in order to get the best view of the grave, along the way crossover to the left hand sidewalk of Arch Street because Ben’s grave is just off that side of the roadway.

Point #5
Ben Franklin Part I

50 N Independence Mall E, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 79
  • Attraction : Christ Church Burial Ground
https://www.christchurchphila.org/about-the-burial-grounds/

As you near the intersection of Arch & Independence Mall, on your left side you’ll notice a red brick wall separating you from the interior of Christ Church Burial Ground - one of Philly’s most famous cemeteries. You can pay a fee at the nearby entrance if you wish to explore it further. Anyway, just before you reach the corner, you’ll see a break in the wall as the brick gives way to an iron fence. Look through the bars of the fence. On the ground, locate the prominent grave marker which is likely covered in coins. This is the final resting place of the most famous Phildelphian that ever was - Benjamin Franklin. You may be surprised to know that Franklin was not born in Philly. Instead, he was originally from Boston - and like Betsy Ross - he was one of 17 children (boy, people back then really liked making babies!). He only attended school until the age of 10 and soon after became a printer's apprentice - but he would flee Boston without permission at the age of 17. That meant that when Ben Franklin arrived in Philadelphia, he was a fugitive. His fortunes would quickly and drastically change, however. Ultimately, Benjamin Franklin would serve as a minister to England on behalf of the colony of Pennsylvania and later assume a leadership role in the American rebellion against Great Britain. Notably, his charms and diplomatic prowess would help secure an alliance with France that made American independence possible. He would sign the Declaration of Independence, The Treaty of Paris & the Constitution of the United States. And this isn’t even half of what he accomplished. So how did Benjamin Franklin - transition from fugitive to statesmen? It was really because of the notoriety Franklin achieved as an inventor and as the scientist who famously discovered that lightning was electricity. You see, when Franklin arrived in Philly, he began a new life, as a successful newspaperman & author. He was also - in a word - brilliant. Franklin’s expansive mind led him into all sorts of scientific pursuits and in June of 1752, he conducted an experiment that made him world famous by proving his hunch that lightning and electricity were one and the same. Here’s how he did it. Franklin built a kite and planned to fly it aloft during a thunderstorm. To the top of the kite, he attached a wire. This would act as a lightning rod while (on the bottom of the kite) he tied a hemp string. Then he connected a silk string to the bottom of the hemp string. Why both? Soaked by the rain, Franklin knew that if lightning were indeed electricity, the wet hemp string would conduct an electrical charge quickly. Franklin didn’t want to hold onto the hemp for fear of being electrocuted. Instead he held onto the silk string and stood inside the doorway of a covered shed so the silk would not become wet & conductive. The final piece of the experiment was a metal key which Franklin connected to the hemp string. After he and his son William got the kite aloft in the air of an approaching thunderstorm, Franklin noticed loose threads of the hemp string standing erect - indicating they’d picked up ambient electrical charge from the storm (lucky for Ben the kite wasn’t actually struck by lighting - because the the likelihood of electrocution would have skyrocketed). Once he noticed the charge, Franklin reeled the string in close enough to move his knuckle near the key, and as the negative charges in the metal key were attracted to the positive charges in his hand, he felt a spark. This was proof that storm lighting was a form of electricity. He would later pronounce, “Electric fire thus obtained”. Pretty smart huh? Continue along Arch Street and at the midpoint of the next block, you’ll find yourself in the middle of a great open expanse known as Independence Mall. I’ll see you there!

Point #6
James Madison

101 N Independence Mall W, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 191
  • Attraction : Independence Mall & Independence Hall
https://www.nps.gov/inde/index.htm

Your walk along Arch Street has now brought you inside Independence Mall - that is, the big open stretch of ground between Independence Hall and the National Constitution Center. Let’s get you oriented. Stop when you reach the middle of the block and locate Independence Hall - it’s the brick building topped with the distinctive white cupola at the far end of the mall. This is the building where America’s Declaration of Independence & Constitution were debated & signed. As you turn away from Independence Hall, you’ll notice the National Constitution Center directly behind you. This wonderful museum & civic education center is dedicated to telling the ongoing story of the United States Constitution. Just to the right of the Constitution Center - you’ll notice the neighboring Philadelphia Mint, where a large percentage of America’s coinage is produced. Both buildings are open to visitors, so feel free to explore them if you have the time. FUN FACT: The mint could not exist were it not for the United States Constitution - because Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gives the federal government the express power to coin money. Since we’re on the subject this seems a good time to tell you a little about James Madison - the man who is often called the father of the Constitution. Face back toward Independence Hall - and imagine for a moment, that it’s 1787. Standing at only 5 feet 4 inches tall, James Madison was a little man with big ideas. He came to the Pennsylvania State House (what you know today as Independence Hall) as a Virginia Delegate to the Constitutional Convention. His entire life had built toward this moment. Since his time as a student at Princeton University, James had studied political theory & government. He was an unabashed nerd - a man after my own heart! He’d been an advisor to Virginia Governor Thomas Jefferson and served as a United States congressman under the ineffective Articles of Confederation. It was now time to write a new rule book and at 36, Madison entered the convention with a fierce, muscular intellect camouflaged behind his modest exterior and slight build (kind of like Yoda, except instead of light saber, Madison had a quill pen). He knew that in designing a new government, there must be checks and balances. He observed to a friend that, “You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.” Madison knew they were making history, and he wanted to chronicle the event. So, at the start of the proceedings, he positioned himself at the front of the room facing back toward the assembly so that he could better take notes on everything the men said and did. He would also help steer the debate by marshaling arguments and support for a strong central government through an organized strategy dubbed, “The Virginia Plan”. He proposed that the federal power should be able to tax citizens directly, that representation in the national legislature should be apportioned by population and that this same legislature should have the power to override state laws. He also argued that Diet Coke was superior to Coke Zero (oh wait, that’s me). In total, he piped up no less than 150 times (the third highest speech count among the conventioneers). In the end he didn’t get everything he wanted - no one did - but perhaps that was the point. The final document was the product of compromise and Madison’s role had been so integral that history would eventually confer on him the title of “Father of the Constitution”. Not bad, considering that the document he helped birth still endures today. That’s one tough kid. Let’s continue the tour. Resume your walk along Arch Street until you reach Arch & 7th. I’ll see you there.

Point #7
Thomas Jefferson Part I

7th St & Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 523
  • Attraction : None
None

Turn left off Arch Street onto 7th. Continue to the end of the block in order to reach your next stop - the Declaration House. While you walk, let me tell you about the man most associated with the Declaration House, Thomas Jefferson. After the Constitution was written it had to to be approved by the states. This process was known as the debate over ratification, and while it played out, Jefferson was serving abroad as America’s ambassador to France. Ever curious, he wanted updates on the news from back home. Luckily he was best buddies with James Madison (and would remain so throughout life). Madison kept Jefferson informed about the Constitution’s fate. Jefferson, ofcourse, had a vested interest in the affair, because the ratification debate might well determine the success of the nation - a nation which Jefferson had helped create when he served in the Second Continental Congress a decade earlier. Throughout their long distance correspondence, Jefferson was not shy in sharing his doubts about the proposed constitution. In one letter he said, “I own I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.” Jefferson also believed that a free people should maintain the right of resistance against governmental authority, and he wrote to Madison, “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” If it sounds to you like Thomas Jefferson was resentful of arbitrary rules and abuses of power, you’re right. Perhaps this is why the Congress chose him to write America’s Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. That story up ahead.

Point #8
Thomas Jefferson Part II

634 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 123
  • Attraction : The Declaration House
https://www.nps.gov/inde/learn/historyculture/places-declarationhouse.htm

As you reach the meeting point of 7th & Market streets, look across the intersection and notice a tall, thin brick house across the way that looks a bit out of place with its surroundings. This is the boarding house where Jefferson wrote America’s Declaration of Independence. The original structure burned down in the 1800s, but this is a faithful reconstruction. Over the course of June, 1776, in the second floor of this rented lodging, Jefferson poured his cosmopolitan ideals and belief in the rights and dignity of man into a document which would serve as America’s birth certificate. Beliefs that Americans held silently in their hearts were given words with Jefferson’s eloquent pen. You know how it goes… “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” But how did Jefferson find himself in this position as the author of America? Well, it was equal parts hard work & luck. A tall redhead from Virginia all of 33 years old when he arrived in Philadelphia to join the Congress - Jefferson had actually been called in (unexpectedly) to replace Peyton Randolph, his better known cousin who had recently taken ill. Randolph’s poor condition did not really surprise Jefferson who thought he was, “a most excellent man,” but “heavy and inert in body, he was rather too indolent and careless for business.” The loss of Randolph would prove to be Congress’ gain, because Jefferson brought with him a tremendously skillful pen. Soon after his arrival Jefferson would collaborate with fellow delegate John Dickinson of PA, in writing a widely circulated essay entitled, On the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms, where he spoke against British authority saying, “Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them.” Oh SNAP! Anway, when it came time to formally break ties with the mother country, Jefferson’s reputation as wordsmith secured him a position on the Declaration committee, and he became the document’s primary author. He was encouraged in this effort by his fellow committee member John Adams who assured him that, “...you can write ten times better than I can.” Quite a compliment! Later in his career, Jefferson would go on to serve as the First Secretary of State, Second Vice President and 3rd President of the United States of America. Oh, and he also brought the first written recipe for ice cream back to the United States from France during his time spent there as ambassador. Thanks Tom! From the intersection, turn left onto Market Street and walk once again, toward Independence Mall. I’ll rejoin you up ahead.

Point #9
Market & 6th Street

1 N 6th St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 36
  • Attraction : None
None

As you reach the intersection, look diagonally across from you and notice the irregular collection of open air, white framing and chimneys that resembles a half built home. This is the site of the President’s House site & the next stop on our tour. Directly across the road, you’ll notice a long, brick building - Independence Visitors Center. Inside, you’ll find restrooms, a gift shop, and exhibit space. Feel free to take a turn inside before continuing on our tour. I’ll see you next, inside the President’s House.

Point #10
Martha Washington & Abigail Adams

6th St &, Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 266
  • Attraction : The President’s House
https://www.visitphilly.com/things-to-do/attractions/the-presidents-house/

As you make your way inside this roofless collection of chimneys, walls and door frames, you’re entering the site of what was once a three story brick mansion that served as the first official residence of the President. When Philadelphia was the temporary capital of the United States (from 1790 - 1800) both George Washington and John Adams lived here during their terms in office. George & John had the good fortune to be married to American founding mothers, Martha Washington and Abigail Adams. These exceptional women not only ran this home during their respective tenures as first lady - they each left an indelible imprint on American History and upon each other. Abigail and Martha would become longtime friends, a bond formed by the political relationship between their husbands - first struck during their time serving in the First & Second Continental Congresses. Mutual respect and admiration between the couples is revealed by their archived letters (the Adamses, in particular, were prolific correspondents). Though Martha and Abigail had starkly different personalities - Martha was considered quiet and abhorred the buzzing limelight while Abagail was her husband's very present de facto Chief of Staff - the women bonded over their public roles and private affections. Martha and Abigail frequently visited each other while traveling to New York or Philadelphia and exchanged effusive letters on all topics, complaining about the mundane afflictions of life like colds and busy husbands, as well as sharing the joys of their grandchildren and challenges that faced their Presidential spouses. During Martha's time at the President's house, the building was bursting at the seams with her household staff of 24 people, including 8 enslaved persons (their stories are detailed in the many interpretive stations found at the house site). Martha and the staff had the duty of maintaining the presidential household - it was a job they took seriously. Almost every day, the house received visitors - public officials and members of high society come for an audience at the residence of the first family. Martha organized receptions, coordinated dinners and a myriad of other important tasks - all the while maintaining her calm, cheerful, and dignified demeanor. Privately, however, she confided to her niece that she felt, “...more like a state prisoner than anything else.” When Abigail became the first lady, she wrote Martha for advice about the social expectations and decorum of her new position. Martha responded: “It is very flattering for me, my dear Madam, to be asked for rules … Within yourself, you possess a guide more certain than any I can give, to direct you - I mean the good sense and judgment for which you are distinguished.” Abigail would indeed become an effective first lady, who continued to uphold the societal standards set by Martha while also serving as her husband John’s closest adviser. Her influence was so great that political opponents mockingly referred to her as “Mrs. President”. The women also sought comfort from each other in times of sorrow. Upon George's death in 1799, Abigail immediately wrote a letter of great sympathy to her friend, sharing in her personal grief. Martha responded with the hope that Abigail would never know a similar affliction to the death of a spouse. In 1800, however, the Adams's middle son, Charles, died unexpectedly and Abigail retreated to Martha’s company at the Washington home (Mt. Vernon) to soothe her heart. Now I invite you to leave the President’s House and approach Independence Hall. Make your way to the grassy area fronting Independence Hall and as you look toward the hall itself, you’ll notice a prominent bronze statue on the street level in front of it. Walk toward this statue and position yourself so that you are directly across the street from it. Along the way, notice the Liberty Bell Center to your right, inside of which is kept (you guessed it) - the Liberty Bell! If you’re visiting during operating hours (and the line isn’t too long) feel free to take a peek. If you remain outside however, you can stillsee the bell itself through the large glass window on the south end of the building.

Point #11
George Washington

500 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 2
  • Attraction : George Washington Statue & Independence Hall
https://www.visitphilly.com/things-to-do/attractions/independence-hall/

You should now be facing the bronze statue in front of the hall on the opposite side of Chestnut street. I bet you recognize the figure - it’s George Washington of course! As commander of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and later 1st President of the United States under the new Constitution, no one stands higher in American memory than George Washington. Deservedly so - he was a remarkable man. The building behind George Washington was an important stage during two key moments in his career. The first came in 1775, when Washington served inside this building as a Virginia delegate to the 2nd Continental Congress. Just before Congress convened, fighting between British regulars and colonial militia had broken out near Boston. War loomed. As a high ranking colonial officer and veteran of the French & Indian War, Washington’s military experience was highly valued and he certainly looked the part. Pennsylvania delegate Benjamin Rush said that Washington had, “...so much martial dignity in his deportment that you would distinguish him to be a general and a soldier from among ten thousand people.” Washington even went so far as to wear his military uniform to congress as an unsubtle reminder that he stood ready to lead the embryonic American army if called upon. He would get the chance. John Adams led a successful effort to appoint him commanding general of the Continental Army in June of 1775. Adams would later recount the scene when Washington’s name was put forth, “I rose in my place and in as short a speech as the subject would admit … I had no hesitation to declare that I had but one gentleman in mind for the important command, and that was a gentleman from Virginia who was among us, and very known to all of us, a gentleman whose skill and experience as an officer, whose independent fortune, great talents and excellent universal character … would unite the cordial exertions of all the colonies better than any one person in the Union.” For his part, Washington would later insist that it was, “an honor I by no means aspired to,” and something, “I wished to avoid.” False modesty? Perhaps. Washington would prove equal to the task, however. Although there were moments when he was outgeneraled by his British counterparts, George managed to hold the army and the revolution itself together. Sometimes through force of will alone. Retiring to private life after the war, he would be called upon again in 1787 - this time to serve at the Constitutional Convention. As the most respected man in the country, no one could lend the effort more legitimacy. He was elected President of the convention on the very first day. Months later, their work done, he was the first to sign the document. In between, he led the convention with dignity and quiet restraint - except for one highly dramatic moment. Throughout the course of the convention, the delegates were sworn to secrecy outside their meetings room, in the hopes that confidentiality would prevent politics and public pressure from distorting their work. One day, however, a nameless delegate thoughtlessly dropped a top secret document on the ground outside the hall. Luckily, Washington discovered it before it fell into the wrong hands. He later proceeded to give the delegates a stern lecture about keeping their deliberations closed from public view - at the end of which he flung the offending document on his desk and declared, “I don’t know whose paper it is, but let him who owns it, take it!” Washington then exited the room to emphasize his point. The faces of the delegates turned white - no one stepped forward. They were thoroughly chastened, and it never happened again. Now turn right and keep Independence Hall on your left as you walk to the end of the block. As you near the intersection, look across Chestnut street toward the multi story, red brick building opposite. It’s the one with the small white balcony underneath the center window on the 2nd floor. This building, Congress Hall, is our next stop

Point #12
John Adams

601 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 94
  • Attraction : Congress Hall
https://www.visitphilly.com/things-to-do/attractions/congress-hall/

You should now be standing beside the intersection of Chestnut & 6th Street facing Congress Hall with the Liberty Bell Center behind you. Congress Hall is so named because it was once home to the Congress of the United States back when Philadelphia was the young nation’s temporary capital. The United States House of Representatives was on the ground floor while the Senate convened upstairs. If you know your constitution, you know that the Vice President of the United States is also the presiding officer of the senate. During George Washington’s Presidency - that duty fell to VP John Adams. Adams never liked being Vice President. He told his wife Abigail that, “My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.” Adams was always one to speak his mind. During his time as Vice President, Adam’s volubility would land him in trouble when he weighed in on the debate over the president’s title, suggesting that it should be, ”His Mightiness,” “His Elective Majesty” or even "His Highness, the President of the United States of America, and Protector of the Rights of the Same." Opponents skewered such pomposity and he was roundly criticized. Thankfully, George Washington preferred to remain simply, “Mr. President”. During the Washington Presidency, Adams was not part of the inner circle but he remained a loyal soldier. He would cast 31 tie breaking votes in the Senate - always in support of the Washington administration. Adams would get his turn at the presidency in 1796 beginning with his inauguration which took place in this very building! As power transitioned between the two men, Adams said that Washington “...has merited the gratitude of his fellow-citizens, commanded the highest praises of foreign nations, and secured immortal glory with posterity.” Washington, sick of the rough-and-tumble of politics told Adams privately, “I am fairly out, and you are fairly in. See which of us will be the happiest.” Now we must fairly move along. I invite you to cross Chestnut Street and keep Congress Hall on your immediate left as you walk down 6th Street toward our next stop.

Point #13
6th & Sansom

135 S 6th St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 1157
  • Attraction : None
None

As you continue down 6th Street, you’ll notice a pathway to your left that leads off the sidewalk and into a plaza behind Independence Hall. Take this pathway into the plaza and head toward the prominent bronze statue which stands atop a large stone base.

Point #14
Commodore Barry

129 S 5th St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 544
  • Attraction : Commodore Barry Statue
https://www.ushistory.org/people/commodorebarry.htm

As you approach Commodore Barry, you’ll notice a number of benches which encircle his statue. Feel free to take a seat and admire the Commodore as I share my next story with you. John Barry stands among America’s most prominent naval commanders during the revolution, and (along with John Paul Jones) is considered the father of the American Navy. Yet, most modern day Americans don’t know his name. Some argue that Barry’s obscurity is due to his status as an Irish immigrant. Although Barry was acclaimed and admired during his life, the history of the American Revolution was not written until a century later - at a time when Irish immigrants were held in disdain, so he was denied the recognition he deserved. Let’s set the record straight today! First off, Barry looked every bit the bold seaman. He stood a muscular, 6foot 4inches tall, with a commanding voice, square chin and confident demeanor - so confident that he was able to suppress three mutinies during his career! He was basically an 18th century version of Liam Neeson. America was Barry’s adopted country and he came to love her dearly. He settled in Philadelphia after relocating from County Wexford, Ireland as a young man. As an Irish Catholic, he appreciated the city’s religious tolerance in comparison to the persecution his people had suffered at the hands of the English in their homeland. Here in the colonies he began a successful career as a merchant ship captain and when the war began, he rushed to join the American cause. His talents as a seaman were put to good use; over the course of his 17 year career in the United States Navy he would expertly command five U.S. warships. During one notable engagement against the British, when all appeared lost, a wounded Barry was asked by subordinates if he wanted to surrender. His reply, “No by thunder!”. He would ultimately win the day. During his spirited command of the USS Alliance, he would fight the last battle of the revolution in 1783 in the seas off Cape Canaveral Florida - successfully protecting an American treasure ship from capture by the British. After the battle, the opposing commander said, “...he had never seen a ship so ably fought as [Barry’s]”. Barry’s skill was so great that the British attempted to bribe him - offering him 20,000 pounds sterling, plus a commission in the Royal Navy and his very own ship under Royal Navy authority IF he would defect to their side - but he would not be moved. In Barry’s own words he, “...spurned the idea of being a traitor.” Hmmm, that sounds like an American hero to me! In order to continue our tour, note the direction in which Commodore Barry is facing. You’ll see three pathways converging on the center of the plaza - two of which are on a diagonal. Take the leftward diagonal path and walk toward the intersection of Walnut & 5th Street. I’ll meet you there.

Point #15
Walnut & 5th

Walnut St & 5th St - FS, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 1116
  • Attraction : None
None

When you reach the intersection, turn a slight left and follow Walnut Street. Keep the park area on your immediate left, and the modern buildings to your right on the opposite side of the road as you walk. Up ahead is our next stop.

Point #16
Robert Morris

427 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 519
  • Attraction : Robert Morris Statue
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Morris_(financier)

Ahead, you’ll notice a break in the fence to your left. Walk into the opening and to your right front, you’ll see a bronze statue of a man walking. Position yourself to stand facing the statue. This fellow is Robert Morris, the financier of the American Revolution. He was one of America’s first capitalist tycoons and a financial wizard unparalleled in his time. How did he earn these titles? Well let me tell you. Although he was born and raised in Liverpool England (like the Beatles), Morris came to America as a young man and worked feverishly to climb the ladder of financial success within his adopted city of Philadelphia. He was apprenticed to a local shipping and banking firm. By his early 20s he made full partner and by 1776, Robert Morris would be considered (by our modern lights) a wildly successful capitalist, before the term had truly been defined or accepted in society. Morris was a staunch advocate of free markets and global commerce at a time when reliable international communication was iffy-at-best. This meant Morris had to deal squarely and take risks. It paid off. As a reward for his efforts, he built himself a killer mansion off Market Street in Philadelphia - which would eventually be converted into the President’s House (you remember it right?). He was initially reluctant to join the cause of American Independence - after all, the system up until then had worked out well for Robert Morris. As a delegate to the 2nd Continental Congress he absented himself from the chamber during the vote for independence. However, Morris continued to serve his country even though he disagreed, explaining, “I think that an individual who declines the service of his country because its councils are not comfortable to his ideas, makes but a bad subject; a good one will follow if he cannot lead.” Within a year, Morris had come around on the idea of independence - so much so that he proceeded to put his immense personal fortune at risk in the cause of the United States. He used his prodigious social skills to fundraise, employed his personal credit to underwrite massive loans to the Continental Army and delved deeply into his own savings to purchase food, ammunition, boots and anything else the troops needed when Congress was short on cash (a common occurrence). He was appointed the United States’ Superintendent of Finance (basically the first Treasury Secretary) before the end of the war and it is no exaggeration to say that his behind-the-scenes aid played a massive role in the American victory - a quiet yet crucial contribution that was as necessary as Washington’s generalship or Benjamin Franklin’s diplomatic efforts in France. Before the war's end Morris would affix his signature to the Declaration of Independence and go on to sign both the Articles of Confederation & the United States Constitution (one of only two men to sign all three). Ironically, this financial genius of the revolution would die broke - he lost his fortune in an ill-fated attempt at land speculation in the late 1780s. Morris even suffered the indignity of a three year stint in debtors prison, where he would be visited by George Washington. A real shame! But, as you can see he did get a statue and now you know the rest of the story. Return to Walnut street and keep walking until you reach the intersection of Walnut & 4th.

Point #17
Dolley Madison

4th St & Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 555
  • Attraction : The Dolley Todd House
https://www.nps.gov/inde/learn/historyculture/places-dolleytoddhouse.htm

The red brick house opposite you is known as the Dolley Todd House - it was once the home of Dolley Todd who later became founding mother Dolley Madison - America’s First Lady and wife of James Madison. James & Dolley met right here in Philadelphia. Dolley’s first husband, John Todd, was a quaker lawyer here in Philly. Together they had two sons and lived in this house from 1791 to 1793. Tragically, however, in 1793 the yellow fever epidemic took the lives of both her husband and second son William. A widow and single mother at 25 years old - Dolley was not quite ready to give up on love. In 1794, James Madison was working as a Virginia congressman here in the capital city of Philadelphia. Dolley was well-known for her beauty, status and likability. James was instantly attracted and wanted an introduction. Luckily, the two had a mutual friend named Aaron Burr (yes - THAT Aaron Burr) who played the role of cupid. The two hit it off. Although James was 17 years older and much shorter than Dolley, she fell deeply in love with the diminutive brainiac and eventually accepted his marriage proposal - even renouncing her quaker faith to wed him. On September 15th, 1794, the happy couple sealed the deal. Dolley later wrote to her best friend and told her all about her wedding day, “In the course of this day, I give my hand to the man who of all others I most admire ... in this union I have everything soothing and grateful in prospect ... and my little [son] will have a generous and tender protector." They stayed in Philadelphia until James decided to retire from politics eventually relocating to Montpelier plantation in Virginia. Similarly the capital of the United States was relocated to Washington City in the District of Columbia and before long, James was offered the job of Secretary of State under his good friend (and newly elected president) Thomas Jefferson. During his presidency Jefferson (a widower) called on Dolley to act as first lady - organizing Presidential functions, decorating the White House, managing the social calendar, etc. Dolley would continue in this role when James himself was elected to presidency in 1808. Crucially, Dolley was also James’ best political asset. Her warmth, vivaciousness, charm and stunning ability to entertain, strengthened James’ political standing. They were the perfect union. Lastly, and perhaps most famously, Dolley would oversee the rescue of a famous portrait of George Washington from destruction at the hands of the British when they burned the White House during the War of 1812. Crossover 4th street, so that you’re on the same corner as the Dolley Todd House. Then turn left and walk up 4th Street. I’ll join you along the way.

Point #18
South 4th Street

136 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 566
  • Attraction : None
None

Coming up on your right you should see a red brick path perpendicular to the sidewalk near signage for Carpenter’s Hall. Turn right onto this path, and follow it until you reach the area surrounding the brick building enclosed by a white fence. Make your way to the front side of this building and stand so that you are facing the entrance. This is our next stop.

Point #19
Samuel Adams

320 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 557
  • Attraction : Carpenter’s Hall
https://www.carpentershall.org

Position yourself so that you are facing Carpenter’s Hall, a building so named because it is owned by the Carpenters Company, one of the nation’s oldest artisan guilds. Members include architects, wood workers, structural engineers, and others. In fact Independence Hall (which we visited earlier) was built by members of the Carpenters’ Company. They’re still in operation today. If you’re here during daytime hours, you are welcome to go inside and view the exhibits. Otherwise, feel free to take a seat on a nearby bench or continue wandering around the exterior. Inside this building in 1774, the men of the First Continental Congress met - before the revolution - in order to develop a response to the increasingly tyrannical rule of Great Britain. Foremost among them was John Adams’ cousin, Sam. Sam Adams failed at nearly everything he attempted. Yes, that Sam Adams, the one on the bottle. Interestingly, the man whose name is synonymous with craft beer was personally a brewing failure (he inherited the family brewery and went bust only a few years later, spiraling Adams into a debt that haunted him for the rest of his life). An infamously poor businessman, Sam had to pivot. The one thing Adams did seem to have a knack for was politics. He became a leader among the Massachusetts’ patriot set and steadfastly opposed the British authorities (think: Boston Tea Party). History likes to think of Sam Adams as the ultimate pot-stirrer. In reality, his actions and writings only reflect the growing discontent of a revved-up populace. His weekly newspaper, The Public Advertiser, supported colonial rights and chastised their dictatorial overseers across the pond. Patriots gathered to hear his loquacious and frenzied tavern speeches, turning Sam into a local celebrity. Capitalizing on his popularity, he headed to the Massachusetts legislature and became so well known that he was nicknamed a “patriarch of liberty” by Thomas Jefferson. The people connected with his clear, black-and-white arguments, simple phrasing, and powerful messaging. When it came time for Massachusetts to appoint delegates to the First Continental Congress, Sam was an obvious choice. The one problem, however, was that he looked more like an unmade bed than a dignified representative. Remember, Sam was still poor. So poor, in fact, that friends had to gather donations to help him repair his own house. Before his departure to Congress, these same friends pulled together to give him a Pretty Woman style makeover, outfitting him with a large trunk of new clothes that included two new pairs of shoes, silver shoe buckles, six pairs of silk stockings, gold sleeve buttons, a new cane, a red cloak, new wig and an “elegant” cocked hat. Vavavavoom! When this new & improved Sam Adams walked into Carpenter’s Hall, he immediately made a positive impression on his fellow congressmen. As a leader among the Massachusetts delegation, he was eager to prove that they were not a bunch of wide-eyed radicals. Adams was also fully aware that Massachusetts alone could not stand against the full might of Great Britain, writing to a friend that, “...it is of the greatest importance that the American opposition should be united.” With these goals in mind, Sam launched a charm offensive - he maintained decorum, moderated his tone and diligently worked toward consensus in order to bring the other colonies on board. Simultaneously, he would use his trusted courier Paul Revere to transmit secret messages back to the Sons of Liberty in Boston, urging for aggressive, continuing resistance. He was a smooth operator and his efforts met with success. The First Continental Congress made remarkable strides in solidifying colonial opposition to British misrule and Samuel Adams would continue his efforts in the Second Continental Congress the following year - eventually signing his name to the Declaration of Independence. Today, we think of Sam Adams as the “Father of the American Revolution” for his staunch advocacy, political prowess, and popular rallying cries. It is a blessed irony that this radical patriot who failed at nearly everything in his life, got the most important thing right. As we move to the next stop on our tour, once again position yourself so that you are outside facing the entrance to Carpenter’s Hall. Off to your left, you’ll notice a small wooden shed with a pointed shingle roof. Nearby this shed, there is a red brick path. Take the path and I’ll meet you along the way.

Point #20
Alexander Hamilton

120 S 3rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 80
  • Attraction : The First Bank of the United States
https://www.ushistory.org/tour/first-bank.htm

The large building on your right is the First Bank of the United States. Position yourself so that you are facing the front of the building with a good view of its stately columns. This building would not exist had it not been for the efforts of founding father Alexander Hamilton. The First Bank of the United States (once housed in this building) was created to help stabilize the credit and debt load of the United States along with managing the printing of money and other financial responsibilities. Although the bank no longer exists, today the US Federal Reserve system serves many of the same purposes. As the new nation was finding its footing, President Washington formed the Department of the Treasury in 1789 to deal with the country’s financial woes. To lead this new department, Washington chose a former military aide to serve as the first Secretary of the Treasury: Alexander Hamilton. The First Bank of the United States was Hamilton’s brainchild. Now, Hamilton’s been in the headlines a lot in recent years. I suspect that you’ve heard of this Broadway play about him…oh, what’s it called…I can never remember the name…oh! Hamilton! If you’ve seen the play, you know that of all the Founding Fathers, none were so driven by ambition as Alexander Hamilton. But in fairness, no Founding Father had so much to overcome. Born an illegitimate child in the British West Indies, and eventually orphaned, a young Hamilton nurtured ambitions too big for his small island. He came to New York in the early 1770s where he began to study at what is now Columbia University. He also became an early adopter of the Revolutionary cause, writing against British tyranny. Indeed, he thought military conflict would give him an opportunity to launch his ambitions telling a friend, “To confess my weakness, Ned, my ambition is so prevalent that I disdain the groveling conditions of a clerk to which my fortune condemns me. I would willingly risk my life, though not my character, to exalt my station. . . . Oh, how I wish there was a war.” Younger than most of the Founding Fathers, Hamilton served in the military and worked as an aide for George Washington. He eventually commanded troops at the battle of Yorktown, helping play a key role in the surrender of the British. After the war, when the Constitutional Convention convened here in Philadelphia, Hamilton was inside the room. Though he had little impact on the writing of the Constitution itself, Hamilton made a tremendous contribution to its defense: The Federalist Papers. These essays, written along with John Jay and James Madison, argued the merits of the new constitution to the public during the ratification debate urging the states to adopt the document and support the new government. When Washington appointed Hamilton as Treasury Secretary, there was work to be done. The new nation suffered under severe war debt and its finances were ashambles. Under his leadership, however, the national economic situation stabilized and a firm foundation for prosperity was laid. The creation of the First National Bank remains among his greatest accomplishments. He was a powerful and influential man - of whom not everyone approved. Abigail Adams said of him, “Hamilton is a Man ambitious as Julius Caesar, a subtle intriguer. His abilities would make him dangerous if he was to espouse a wrong side. His thirst for fame is insatiable. I have ever kept my eye upon him.” He had the absolute trust, however, of George Washington - who viewed Hamilton’s impulses differently. Washington said as much in a letter to John Adams writing, "That he [Hamilton] is ambitious I shall readily grant, but it is of that laudable kind, which prompts a man to excel in whatever he takes in hand." Famously killed in a duel with the Vice President. Aaron Burr, Hamilton’s ambitions were finally put to rest in 1804. He was only 47 years old. The First National Bank building stands today as a monument to Hamilton’s economic genius - and the genius of a country which (since its beginning) has understood that financial freedom & human freedom are inextricably linked. To reach our next stop, as you face the First National Bank, turn right and walk to the end of the block. Turn right again on Chestnut and keep walking. On your right, you’ll pass by the entrance to the Museum of the American Revolution (which is excellent by-the-way). As you walk along Chestnut, look for two large, bronze relief panels affixed to the side of the museum building. They’ll appear on your right.

Point #21
George Washington Part II

239 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 1144
  • Attraction : The Museum of the American Revolution
https://www.amrevmuseum.org

The two bronze panels on your right are recreations of famous American paintings. Namely, Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze and a presentation of the Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull. Let’s take each panel in turn, beginning with the presentation of the Declaration. Locate John Adams and Thomas Jefferson within the scene. They’re in the group at the front of the room. Adams has his hand on his hip and Jefferson is laying the Declaration itself on the table. This romantic & fictionalized scene recalls the moment when the men who crafted the Declaration submitted it for Congressional consideration. Here’s a trivia question for you - on what day did the Congress vote on American independence? Did you say July 4th, 1776? Because that would have been such a good guess. But in fact, that’s incorrect. The Second Continental Congress actually voted to declare independence from Great Britain on July 2nd, 1776. So how come Americans celebrate Independence Day on July 4th instead of July 2nd? John Adams wondered that his whole life. In fact, he was pretty ticked about it. See, Adams was one of the earliest proponents in congress of total American independence. He tirelessly argued for it. So when congress finally voted for independence on July 2nd, he saw it as a personal victory. However, before congress announced America’s independence to the public, it needed a document to explain why it was declaring independence. That’s the Declaration - which we spoke about earlier at the Declaration House. After the Declaration was submitted, Congress had to argue, edit, and nitpick over the document a few days before it could be adopted and released to the public. This editing & adoption process was finalized on July 4th. So much to Adams’ lifelong frustration, Americans don’t celebrate the day of his vote. They celebrate the day of Jefferson’s document. But do you want to know an even more amazing story about July 4th? It’s a story about a lost & found friendship. Jefferson and Adams, despite being so different, remained colleagues and close friends until John Adams became president. The two were on opposite sides of the political divide then and Jefferson eventually unseated Adams in the presidential election of 1800. Adams was heartbroken and felt betrayed; they cut off all ties to each other for over a decade. As the years went by, both men left public life. By 1811, few of America’s Founding Fathers were even alive. So at the urging of a friend, John Adams wrote a brief note to Thomas Jefferson—extending an olive branch. Jefferson replied and the old friends soon rekindled their friendship. In fact, they wrote to each other for over a decade, rehashing old arguments and reliving the events of the past. Their exchange continued until July 4, 1826. Jefferson had fallen into a coma the night before at his home in Virginia, asking his daughter, “Is it the 4th?” hoping to endure long enough to see the 50th anniversary of his beloved Declaration. Adams, at home in Massachusetts, was said to declare, “Jefferson lives” right before his passing—not knowing that Jefferson had died mere hours before. The two old friends had expired on July 4th, 1826, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Now find your way to the next panel - Washington Crossing the Delaware. This scene depicts one of the most pivotal moments of the Revolutionary War - when Washington crossed his army over the Delaware River (at night in the midst of a snowstorm) in the hopes of launching a surprise attack that would catch the enemy unprepared in their winter encampment at Trenton, New Jersey. Did I mention this took place on Christmas night, 1776? Evidently George didn’t believe in taking time off for the holidays. He couldn’t afford to. At this point in the revolution, Washington thought that, “...the game [was] pretty near up”. Having suffered repeated defeats, his army was on the point of disintegration and without a victory the cause would have been lost. In the lead up to the attack, Washington wrote to his brother saying, “You can form no idea of the perplexity of my situation. No man, I believe, ever had a greater choice of difficulties, and less means to extricate himself from them. However, under a full persuasion of the justice of our cause, I cannot entertain an Idea, that it will finally sink, tho’ it may remain for some time under a cloud..”. Washington’s enduring faith led him into the desperate gamble you see depicted before you - and it worked! He caught the enemy garrison of Hessian mercenaries completely unprepared, bagging 900 prisoners with the loss of only 2 men (who died of hypothermia on the march). To continue our tour, face the carvings and turn right. Begin walking along Chestnut Street and look for an opportunity to crossover so that you continue along the roadway’s right hand sidewalk. I’ll join you along the way.

Point #22
Chestnut Street & Entrance to Franklin Court

315 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 606
  • Attraction : None
None

Coming up on your right, you should see a broad, brick alley, which leads off Chestnut street into an area known as Franklin Court. Take this alleyway and head into the court. That’s where I’ll pick up the story.

Point #23
Benjamin Franklin Part II

315 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 901
  • Attraction : Franklin Court
https://www.nps.gov/inde/learn/historyculture/places-franklincourt.htm

This next stop is all about Benjamin Franklin - because this is the spot where his house once stood. Though the home was torn down, you’ll notice a ghost reconstruction which stands atop the original footprint. You’re now inside Franklin Court. The buildings here (like many of the historic structures we’ve seen today) are owned and operated by the National Park Service. If you’re visiting during the day, you can check to see if the courtyard attractions are open. There is a print shop, an underground museum, and an archeological site that shows what life was like in the late 1700s. Feel free to walk around the courtyard or take a seat wherever you like. I want to tell you a bit more about Benjamin Franklin and his wife, Deborah. You may have heard rumors that Franklin was a lady’s man. It’s true that Franklin could charm with the best of them; it’s what made him such an excellent diplomat. But the only real Franklin “romance” we know about is his 44-year common law marriage to his wife, Deborah Read Franklin. This relationship of half a century was no storybook romance. It does, however, showcase the fascinating contradictions of this incredible man. Franklin first met 15-year-old Deborah when he became a boarder in the Reads’ home shortly after arriving in Philadelphia. After several months, the two became engaged, but Franklin soon traveled to England to further his craft as a printer. After he arrived in England, his financial backing fell through. Perhaps ashamed of his poverty or, as Franklin himself put it, his “intrigues with low women,” he forgot all about Deborah. Heartbroken, Deborah married a potter named John Rogers, who proceeded to waste her dowry, rack up debt, then abandon her. Oh, and it turned out that he was already married to another woman in England. Poor Debbie. Abandoned by Rogers, but unable to remarry with church sanction, Deborah moved back in with her mother. But after Franklin returned to Philadelphia several years later, he rekindled his relationship with Deborah. Why? We’re not sure. Deborah did not offer wealth or social advantage to Franklin. If anything, her failed marriage and uncouth demeanor would hurt Franklin’s social prospects. Perhaps he loved her. But there’s another possibility: right before marrying Deborah, Franklin had an affair that resulted in an illegitimate son. The fact that, to this day, we still do not know the identity of William Franklin’s mother suggests that she was one of Franklin’s “low women.” Twice heartbroken but still deeply in love with Franklin, Deborah was probably the only woman in Philadelphia who would agree to marry Franklin and raise his illegitimate child. Though she was by no means the social or intellectual equal of her world-famous husband, Deborah was a loyal and hardworking wife who very much loved him. Throughout the course Franklin’s extensive world travels, it was Deborah who remained here at their home—managing Franklin’s estate, business affairs, and raising their children, including Franklin’s illegitimate son. Yet sadly, she spent all but two of their last seventeen years of married life alone while Franklin was in England. Deborah suffered a stroke in 1769 and begged Franklin to return. In 1774, she suffered another and passed away. Franklin would not return until after her death. So why did this man, an overachiever in all other aspects of his life, treat his loyal wife so shabbily? Perhaps he married her only out of necessity? Some have suggested a lingering blame over the death of their son Francis from smallpox as a child. Or maybe as his international acclaim grew, he was embarrassed by his plain, lowly wife. However he mistreated Deborah, Franklin was always a devoted father and grandfather. In fact, it was in one of these very storefronts that Benjamin Franklin Bache, Franklin’s grandson, would carry on his grandfather’s profession as a printer. Now exit the court from the opposite direction from which you entered. You will walk through a short tunnel and emerge onto Market Street.

Point #24
Exit from Franklin Court & Market Street

318 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 665
  • Attraction : None
None

As you exit Franklin Court and arrive on Market Street, turn left and walk to 4th Street where you will take another left. I’ll meet you up ahead.

Point #25
Musical Walk down 4th Street

390 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 170
  • Attraction : None
None

As you turn left onto 4th Street, continue along until you arrive, once again, at Chestnut Street. And since I’ve talked enough on our tour, here’s some patriotic music to keep you company.

Point #26
Chestnut & 4th Street

60 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 1125
  • Attraction : None
None

When you reach the Chestnut street intersection, continue on 4th to the opposite side of Chestnut and then turn right onto Chestnut itself. As you walk along Chestnut, a short way down the block on your immediate left, you’ll notice a large, stone building fronted with large columns - this is the 2nd bank of the United States (not to be confused with the 1st) and just beyond the bank (also on your left) you’ll encounter a small park. This is the final stop on our tour.

Point #27
The Founding Fathers Part II

467 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

  • Distance : 573
  • Attraction : Signer’s Park
https://www.ushistory.org/tour/signers-park.htm

Signer’s Park is coming up on your left hand side. It is centered around the statue of a man holding aloft a quill pen. Find the park and face the statue. The fellow in front of you is called, “The Signer”, an allegorical figure representing all those who helped to craft & sign the nation's founding documents. He is also meant to honor the spirit and deeds of all who devoted their lives to the cause of American freedom. The statue itself is 9-1/2 feet high, made of bronze, and set on a 6-foot granite base. It is modeled after Philadelphia merchant George Clymer, a statesman who signed both the Declaration and the Constitution. A patriot through-and-through, Clymer (like Robert Morris) leant his personal fortune to the American cause and suffered the burning of his home at the hands of the British during the Revolution. He was a behind-the-scenes figure, who worked hard in Congressional committees and also fought for the rights of immigrants and Native Americans. Today, he reminds us that every founding father & mother has a story, even if their name has faded in our memory. Today, you’ve heard lots of stories - tales of extraordinary men and women who walked the very same streets upon which you just traveled. But though they were extraordinary people, they were also real people - with real weaknesses, failures, heartbreak, and contradictions. I hope that, like me, you’ve been able to meet them with sympathy, curiosity, and admiration. The steadfast character of George Washington, the courage of Commodore Barry, the drive of Alexander Hamilton, the charm of Dolley Madison. I trust you’ve enjoyed spending time in their company today. Now allow me to orient you as we wrap up our tour. If you stand with the Signer Statue at your back and look in front of you to the far side of Chestnut Street, you’ll notice the entrance to the hotel Monaco. If you round the corner from the hotel Monaco entrance (to your left front) and walk up the street, you’ll find the entrance to the Bourse - a large brick building parallel to Independence Mall. Inside of the Bourse, there’s a foodhall - a great option if you’re hungry. If you retrace your steps from here to Franklin Court & Market Street - a further walk will return you to the start of our tour. Also from here, if you turn an immediate right on Chestnut a short walk will bring you to the Museum of the American Revolution, whereas a turn to the left will deposit you at the entrance to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center. Opposite them (at the far end of Independence Mall) you’ll recognize the National Constitution Center and its neighbor, the Philadelphia Mint. We passed by all these places on our tour today, and we encourage you to explore them as your schedule permits. I hope you enjoyed our Founding Fathers Footsteps tour today. May it inspire you to both appreciate the country’s past and look forward to its future. Remember to visit our website at www.historicamerica.org and use #historicamericatours on social media. We look forward to taking you on another historic adventure soon!