John Adams - Part 1, Chapter 2 Summary & Analysis

David McCullough
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Philadelphia was America's 18th century metropolis in size, wealth and beauty, and it was the country's busiest port. Founded in 1682 by the English Quaker William Penn, it was laid out on a spacious grid with handsome, substantial public buildings. Benjamin Franklin was its preeminent citizen and the most famous American alive, most renowned for his invention of the lightning rod. Philadelphia was a city of artisans and manufacturers, filled with bookshops, taverns, coffeehouses and seven newspapers. Summer in the city was a miserable experience, though, with frequent epidemics.

Adams arrived for the First Continental Congress in 1774 eager to see everything. His time was filled every day. Sundays, he visited various churches and commented on the quality of preaching and hymnody. Philadelphia's hospitality amazed the simple New Englanders. Congress was a dazzling assembly of minds that Adams believed was unsurpassed in history. Half of the fifty-four...

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This section contains 2,086 words
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Buy the John Adams Study Guide
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