text: seven walking tours through historic Philadelphia

Presbyterian Historical Society

Society Hill 29
PHS Garden

Founded in 1852, the Presbyterian Historical Society at 425 Lombard Street contains a library of over 200,000 published titles, 20,000,000 manuscripts, including 13,000 bound church records. There is also a museum which contains portraits by such well-known painters as Rembrandt Peale and John Neagle, letters, pewter plate, ephemera, communion tokens, and a tall clock which belonged to John Witherspoon (1723-94), the only minister to sign the Declaration of Independence. He was also the president of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton) from 1768 to 1794. His statement during the debate over whether or not the time was propitious for Independence at the Second Continental Congress has come ringing down through the years. John Dickinson, who was advocating moderation until the time was ripe, provoked Witherspoon to shout: "In my judgment, sir, we are not only ripe but rotting."

Society Hill