The Most Historic Burial Ground of the American Revolution with John Bright - Context Travel

The Most Historic Burial Ground of the American Revolution with John Bright


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The Christ Church Burial Ground in Philadelphia is the most historic burial ground of the American Revolution. Established in 1719 by a local congregation that was founded in 1695, it contains more significant figures from that era than any other place. This Conversation will explore the biographies of some of those people, how they all came to be in the same place, and the physical structures that remain today.

Still an active burial ground of a local Episcopal Church, the Christ Church Burial Ground contains more signers of the Declaration of Independence than any other place in the U.S., public or private. When the physically separate grounds around the church building are included, there are also more signers of the Constitution buried on the church’s property than anywhere else.

This larger history is often overlooked because the Christ Church Burial Ground is most famously the burial place of Benjamin Franklin. His grave has become a kind of American pilgrimage site, with thousands of people leaving pennies on his stone every year. This Conversation will include Ben Franklin - and the recent restoration work on his stone - but it will also provide a survey of the many other unique figures buried there, and the physical structures that remain (or don’t) for us to remember them by.

Led by John Bright, a public historian for seven years at the Christ Church Preservation Trust, this interactive seminar will introduce participants to some of the biographies of those buried at Christ Church. Designed to educate as well as inform future travels, participants will emerge with a greater understanding of the Christ Church Burial Ground.

John Bright is a public historian who has worked for seven years at one of the most historic churches in the United States, which is part of Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia. He has spoken to tens of thousands of people about the intersection of American religious and political history and has experience addressing the thorny questions that arise in such a contested space. He has done doctoral work at Temple University in Philadelphia and General Theological Seminary in New York.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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