Visiting the Revolutionary Diplomat’s Grave: Benjamin Franklin

Gravesite of Benjamin Franklin, Christ Church CemeteryNext time you’re in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, take time to stop by the gravesite of Revolutionary War diplomat and statesman, Benjamin Franklin.

Buried next to his wife, Deborah, the graves are located in the Christ Church Cemetery, at the corner of 5th and Arch Streets. Covering the simple gravestone are dozens of pennies (“A penny saved is a penny earned”), tossed by visitors for good luck.

In his biography of Franklin, Carl Van Doren wrote, “No other town burying its great man, ever buried more of itself than Philadelphia with Franklin.”  In all, it’s estimated that 20,000 people gathered for the funeral.

Although Franklin’s gravestone reads simply “Benjamin and Deborah Franklin 1790”, Franklin, as a young man, wrote the following mock epitaph:

The Body of
B. Franklin
Printer;
Like the Cover of an old Book,
Its Contents torn out,
And stript of its Lettering and Gilding,
Lies here, Food for Worms.
But the Work shall not be whlly lost:
For it will, as he believ’d, appear once more,
In a new & more perfect Edition,
Corrected and Amended
By the Author

*Note: Although visitors have to pay to get into Christ Church cemetery (the final resting place for other signers of the Declaration of Independence), Franklin’s grave is visible through an iron gate at the southeast corner of 5th and Arch Streets.  The rest of the cemetery is surrounded by a stone wall.

Benjamin Franklin Gravesite Christ Church Cemetery Philadelphia

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