Philadelphia in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Congregation of the Dead
Throughout that winter, disease thinned the ranks of the American army. John Adams, a member of the Continental Congress meeting in Independence Hall, visited the Square in April 1777. He spent an hour "in the congregation of the dead." The graves of the soldiers, perhaps 2,000 he had been told, "are enough to make the heart of stone melt away."
During the British occupation later that year, American captives died every day. Their bodies were dragged into carts, hauled here and dumped into the earth.
Only after yellow fever ravaged Philadelphia in 1793, did burials in the Square stop. Some believed that graves emitted miasmas, vapors suspected as sources of epidemics.
Location. 39° 56.848′ N, 75° 9.095′ W. Marker is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia County. Marker can be reached from Walnut and 6th Streets. Touch for map. Marker is on the left side of the path from the northeast entrance to the center of Washington Square Park. Marker is in this post office area: Philadelphia PA 19106, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least Sorrow and Joy (here, next to this marker); Linked in Memory (here, next to this marker); Tom Foglietta (here, next to this marker); Penn's Plan (a few steps from this marker); The Capital City (a few steps from this marker); A Fashionable Promenade (a few steps from this marker); Washington Square (within shouting distance of this marker); Bicentennial Moon Tree (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Philadelphia.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Other Washington Square markers.
Categories. • African Americans • Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Military • Notable Events • Notable Persons • War, US Revolutionary •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 10, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 880 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 10, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.