Seven Walking Tours
FRONT PAGE
FAIRMOUNT PARK
INDEPENDENCE HALL AREA
HISTORIC, NORTH OF MARKET
PARKWAY
RITTENHOUSE
SOCIETY HILL
WASHINGTON SQUARE
PREVIOUS STOP ... NEXT STOP ...

St. Mary's Church

Society Hill 03
St. Mary's
Society Hill 02
on right is the Bouvier grave

Next we come to Old St. Mary's Church, founded in 1763. It was the first Roman Catholic cathedral of the Diocese of Philadelphia (1810-38) and was enlarged in 1810 and renovated in 1963. Although St. Joseph's Church (on our Historic District tour) was founded first, the present building of St. Mary's is older than that of St. Joseph's. Washington, who certainly showed no favoritism when it came to attending services, worshiped here as well as at Christ Church and St. Peter's.

Along the north wall of its burial ground are found the graves of the early Bouviers. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' great-great grandfather Michel Bouvier (1792-1874), the first of the family to come from France, and his descendants all lie beneath the vault. Thomas FitzSimons, signer of the Constitution, member of the Continental Congress and Representative in the first three Congresses of the United States; Stephen Moylan, a general officer in the Revolution and aide-de-camp to Washington all lie in this old and historic burial ground. Here, too, is the grave of Commodore John Barry (1745-1803), "Father of the American Navy." A statue of Barry can be seen in Independence Square, and one of FitzSimons stands before the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul on the Parkway.

historic documents, declaration, constitution, more