Smith, Robert

Philadelphia, PA — Completed in 1770, this Georgian building was the meeting place of the First Continental Congress in 1774.
Philadelphia, PA — 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.
Princeton, NJ — Completed in 1756, it housed the entire “College of New Jersey” for nearly 50 years. During the war, both British and Continental troops quartered there.
Philadelphia, PA — Completed in 1761, this Episcopal church is relatively unchanged, with a wonderfully ornate organ, original box-pews, and an historic cemetery that includes the grave of painter Charles Willson Peale.

It is difficult to recapture the intensity of excitement felt by Americans in 1776 over the prospect of forming new republican governments. It is a work, said Thomas Jefferson, of the most interesting nature and such as every individual would wish to have his voice in. Even the business of the Continental Congress was stifled because so many delegates — including Jefferson — left for home to take part in the paramount activity of erecting the new state governments. Constitutions, remarked Francis Lightfoot Lee, employ every pen. ... Nothing — not the creation of [the] confederacy, not the Continental Congress, not the war, not the French alliance — in the years surrounding the Declaration of Independence engaged the interests of Americans more that the framing of these governments.

Gordon S. Wood
The Creation of the American Republic, 1776—1787 (1969)