Walk Description

Few people in history have enjoyed such a symbiotic relationship with their city as Benjamin Franklin with Philadelphia. Inventor, scientist, businessman, manager, politician, philosopher, and patron—Franklin embodied the eclectic but directed energy of booming Philadelphia in the mid- and late-18th century.

A Tour of Franklin's Philadelphia

In this three-hour walking seminar on Benjamin Franklin we will use him as a lens to discuss the great changes and social and political upheaval taking place in Philadelphia during the last half of the 18th century. Along the way, we'll look deeply into the biography of Franklin as we visit sites in Philadelphia that relate and come away with a more contextual understanding of his impact on American history.

Our walk will vary from day to day but include such sites central to Franklin's life as the post office at Franklin Court, Christ Church, and the American Philosophical Society. Our docent will spend time looking at the some of the facets of the multi-faceted figure, including his work as an inventor (beyond the kite-flying story) and as a manager (his role as postmaster general was exemplary). Of course, serious attention will be given to Franklin's role in the Revolutionary War and international diplomacy as well as to the Continental Congress.


Duration: 3 hours
Category: History
Venues: Elfreth's Alley, Franklin Court, Christ Church, Second Bank U.S. Portrait Gallery
Incidentals: admission to Franklin Court Museum- US$5.00
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    Tim Hayburn

    A native of Philadelphia, Tim Hayburn has long loved the history of his hometown. He formerly served as a tour guide in historic Philadelphia. Tim recently completed his doctorate in colonial American history with a focus on capital punishment in 18th century Pennsylvania from Lehigh University. Tim teaches US History at several of the area colleges.

  • Dena Ferrara

    Dena Ferrara earned her Master's of Art in Museum Education at the University of the Arts and her undergraduate degree in American History from LaSalle University both located in Philadelphia. She has worked at with several museums and historical societies in the greater-Philadelphia area in education and curatorial departments. She has a broad background in history and experience teaching, and particularly enjoys studying scientists of 18th century America and Philadelphia colonial history.

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    Justina Barrett

    Justina's master's degree in early American material culture from the Winterthur Program at the University of Delaware complements well her interest and love of sharing Philadelphia with visitors. At the Philadelphia Museum of Art, she works as Site Manager for Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove, two historic homes in Fairmount Park administered by the Museum. She also designs programs and trains guides to share the Museums' collections with the public. Working with Museum curators, preservation professionals, and other stakeholders, she advocates for public access to and interest in local historic sites.

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    Joella Klinghoffer

    Joella Klinghoffer holds a Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy and the History of Math and Science from the Great Books Program at St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland, and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. She is currently taking a break from legal practice to indulge her passion for American history. Joella is a member of the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides and has passed their examination to be a certified guide for historic Philadelphia. She is a regular guide at the Physick House, Powel House, Christ Church, and Christ Church Burial Ground. In addition to guiding, Joella has been involved with a number of history-related writing projects, such as contributing biographical sketches to an educational initiative which examines the lives of New Jersey citizens during the American Revolution. Like so many in the tourism business, she is also working on a book: the story of two of the Delaware Valley's most fascinating, yet relatively unknown, 18th
    century business-women.