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View from Christ Church Burial Ground
At this point, walk south along 4th Street, and, after you pass the entrance of the Holiday Inn, notice the two interesting plaques affixed to the wall of the building. One reminds us that on this very site stood the "New Building," erected in 1740 for George Whitefield and also for use as a charity school. The other memorial serves to commemorate the historic organization of the American Unitarian Church. In one of the buildings of the University of Pennsylvania, "The First Society of Unitarian Christians in Philadelphia," which was actually the first church in America to adopt the official Unitarian name, was formally organized at ceremonies here on June 12, 1796, under the very noteworthy influence of Dr. Joseph Priestly (1733-1804), the celebrated theologian and philosopher, the discoverer of oxygen and the founder of modern chemistry, as well as the inflexible defender of human rights. Dr. Priestly later left the Philadelphia area to settle in Northumberland, Pennsylvania.