Yesterday the 2017 Princeton Seminar spent the day in Philadelphia. Our host for the day was the legendary George Boudreau, the man who I consider to be the greatest Philadelphia history tour guide of all time!!
George gave us a phenomenal introduction to the colonial city. We made several stops along the way:
- Welcome Park: George oriented us to the layout of William Penn’s city.
- Christ Church: The teachers got their photos taken in George Washington’s pew and we paused at the gravestone of Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson where George told us about her life and taught us about the vulnerability of women in colonial America.
- Betsy Ross House: George told us about George Washington’s visit to “Mr. Griscom’s upholstery shop.”
- Arch Street Quaker Meetinghouse: George told some gruesome tales of Philadelphia Quakers building this meetinghouse atop the meeting’s graveyard.
- Benjamin Franklin’s Court: The teachers spent some time in the museum, George signed copies of his book, and George and Ben Franklin sang us a song.
- First National Bank: This was not part of our “colonial” tour, but all the teachers are obsessed with “Hamilton” so we had to make a quick visit here.
- Carpenter’s Hall
- The site of Anthony Benezet’s school for women and African Americans,
- The American Philosophical Society: George rattled off several dozen collections held by the society.
We ended the day at the Pennsylvania State House. In the early 19th-century people started calling this place “Independence Hall.”
We are back in the lecture hall today.