Tablet at Christ Church Burial Ground, Philadelphia

I hope everyone is having a relaxing and meaningful holiday weekend. I was in Greenwood Cemetery yesterday and things are blooming. Today is the anniversary of Benjamin Franklin’s passing in 1790. His death came less than a year after Washington’s inaugural in New York City and nine months prior to the federal government’s move to Philadelphia. The Poor Richard Club placed the plaque we see here beside Franklin’s grave in Christ Church Burial Ground. When I saw it last weekend I was struck at how new it appeared. The Poor Richard Club was a group formed in 1906 (the bicentennial of Franklin’s birth) by Philadelphians who worked primarily in the advertising world. I couldn’t nail down the exact year but by what I could piece together the group disbanded sometime in the late 1980s or 1990s. Presumably demographic and other changes are what ultimately rendered the club extinct. When I was in Philly I did cross the still-extant Union League Club. Who knows why one group survives and another one does not? I am becoming increasingly intrigued by the history and memory of the Revolution and Early American Republic. The hows and whys of what gets remembered, preserved, commemorated, or forgotten are fascinating in and of themselves.

Enjoy your holiday Sunday.