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Visiting Christ Church Burial Grounds

Updated: Sep 4, 2022

In July of 2015, we traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and one of our stops was the Christ Church Burial Grounds in the Historical Independence section of downtown. This is also the location of Benjamin Franklin's grave.

I will talk about Benjamin Franklin's grave in another blog post, but for now I want to focus more on the cemetery itself. This cemetery was started in 1719 well before America was even a Nation.

The cemetery belongs to Christ Church, the Episcopal church founded in 1695 and place of worship for many of the famous Revolutionary War participants, including George Washington. The cemetery is located at 340 N 5th St, Philadelphia, PA 19106. There is a small fee to enter cemetery, but that goes to the restoration of the the graves. You can find out the hours and tour information on the cemetery's website.

When we arrived at the cemetery, there were a lot of people there. We just missed taking one of the tours, but we decided to wait around a little bit and go in and do a self-guided type of thing. It is amazing to see some of these graves that have been around since the beginning of the United States if not earlier.

Besides Benjamin and Deborah Franklin, the cemetery has some other famous figures from history as well. It is like walking through a who is who of American History including five signers of the Declaration of Independence. (You can see from this list, why we had to check this cemetery out):

  • John Andrews, D.D., (1746-1813), 4th Provost of the University of Pennsylvania

  • Michael Woolston Ash (1789–1858), congressman

  • Samuel John Atlee (1739–1786), delegate to the Continental Congress

  • Benjamin Franklin Bache (1769–1798), grandson of Benjamin Franklin, printer and publisher of the Aurora newspaper

  • Sarah Franklin Bache (1743–1808), daughter of Benjamin Franklin

  • Commodore William Bainbridge (1774–1833), Naval hero of War of 1812, captain of "Old Ironsides"

  • Francis Biddle (1886–1968), United States Attorney General

  • James Biddle, Commodore in the United States Navy

  • Thomas Bond (1713–1784), co-founder of Pennsylvania Hospital

  • Major General George Cadwalader (1806–1879), Civil War general

  • John Cadwalader (1805–1879), congressman and judge

  • Matthew Clarkson (1733–1800), mayor of Philadelphia

  • Joseph Clay (1769–1811), United States Congressman

  • Tench Coxe (1755–1824), Continental Congressman

  • John Dunlap (1747–1812), printer of the Declaration of Independence

  • Lewis Evans (c.1700–1756), cartographer and surveyor

  • Tench Francis, Jr. (1730-1800)

  • David Franks (1740–1793), aide-de-camp for General Benedict Arnold during the American War of Independence

  • Samuel Hardy (1758–1785), Continental Congressman

  • Michael Hillegas (1729–1804), first Treasurer of the United States

  • Thomas Hopkinson (1709–1751), father of Francis Hopkinson, president of the Philosophical Society, one of the founders of the Library Company

  • John Inskeep (1757–1834), mayor of Philadelphia

  • Major William Jackson (1759–1828), Revolutionary War officer, secretary of the Constitutional Convention

  • Thomas Lawrence, five-time mayor of Philadelphia

  • Charles Mason (1728–1786), astronomer, surveyor, laid out the Mason–Dixon line in 1763

  • George A. McCall (1802–1868), United States Army brigadier general and prisoner of war during the American Civil War

  • William M. Meredith (1799–1873), Secretary of the Treasury

  • Philip Syng Physick (1768–1837), known as the "Father of Modern Surgery"

  • John Hare Powel (1786-1856), Pennsylvania State Senator and Agriculturalist

  • Elizabeth and Samuel Powel

  • Henry C. Pratt (1761–1838) prominent Philadelphia businessman and builder of Lemon Hill House.

  • Matthew Pratt (1734–1805) American "Colonial Era" portrait painter.

  • Benjamin Rush (1746–1813), signer of the Declaration of Independence and founder of Dickinson College, known as "The Father of American Psychiatry"

  • Annis Boudinot Stockton (1736–1801), poet

  • Philip Syng (1703–1789), silversmith, created the Syng inkstand, early co-founder of several organizations with Benjamin Franklin

  • Henry Tazewell (1753–1799), U.S. Senator

  • Commodore Thomas Truxtun, commander of the Constellation

  • William Tuckey (1708–1781), composer

  • John Goddard Watmough (1793-1861), U.S. Congressman

  • Charles Willing, (1710–1754), three term Mayor of Philadelphia

  • Anne Willing Francis (1733-1812) wife of Tench Francis, Daughter of Charles Willing

If you would like to learn more about the history of this cemetery, please check out our paranormal history profile video below.

We took many more photos at the cemetery. We have put together a photo scrapbook video if you would like to see more of the photos or you can click on the "More Photos" button below to open the on-line photo album.

If you have visited the Christ Church Burial grounds, please let us know about your experience down in the comments section. We would love to hear from you.

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