Christ Church

Philadelphia
PA

Christ Church with its 200-foot steeple

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Founded in 1695, this was the first Anglican Church in Philadelphia; the current wonderfully-preserved structure was built 1727 - 44. Washington, Franklin, Adams, and many other Revolutionary War leaders worshipped here, and many are buried in the nearby Burial Ground.

John Adams was inaugurated as second president on March 4, 1797. Washington had preceded him to the hall and sat on the dais with Jefferson the Vice-President-elect, as Adams spoke. When the new President finished and left, Washington motioned to Jefferson to go next. The two Virginians had known each other since 1769, when Washington had been thirty-seven years old and Jefferson only twenty-six. From long habit and lingering respect, Jefferson now held back. But Washington gestured again, in a manner not to be ignored. The younger man was now Vice-President and must go first.

Richard Brookhiser
Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington (1996)