On the road...in Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Physick Soda photo by Joseph D'Agnese

A short ride to Philly from DC last night put us right where we needed to be for the two-day, back-to-back signings in the city of the Declaration’s birth. 

John Hopkins.

John Hopkins.

We did two signings today. The first was at the Christ Church Burying Ground where Ben Franklin and four other signers are buried. We hung out for a few hours with the docents, including our friend and favorite, John Hopkins (right), who is very knowledgeable about the signers, their resting places, and their association with remarkable Christ Church in Philly. 

The second signing was just outside the walls of the Church itself, where two of the signers were buried. There, we got to hang out with the church’s historian, Neil Ronk. Our thanks to Neil and Anne McLaughlin for making this event happen.

Some other highlights today:

  • We got to meet Chris Johnson, a local actor who has portrayed numerous historic figures, including Declaration signer Francis Hopkinson. We have no photo of Chris in his regalia, but hope to post one in the future.

  • We guzzled some of this excellent beverage, Dr. Physick’s Black Cherry soda, which is reputed to be the first soda pop crafted in the U.S. by Dr. Philip Syng Physick, a Philly physician, in 1807. The good doctor’s descendants make the soda with pure sugarcane, no high fructose corn syrup. And it’s darn tasty.

Neil Ronk.

Neil Ronk.

Historian Ronk showed us an old bell that Christ Church will ring on Fourth of July. The bell’s history is described below. It’s a good launching point to discuss the fact that there were multiple “Liberty Bells” that tolled the nation’s independence.

Christ Church Bells history

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