|Old Pine Street Church, Philadelphia|
If you look at it from either side, you see a man’s face at the top. His back, or rather, his black cloak, faces Pine Street, so you can’t clearly see the object unless you are in the graveyard. I, for one, welcome any opportunity to enter a graveyard.
Originally, Old Pine Street Church, founded in 1764, was known as the Third Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia and has come to be known as the “church of the patriots.” John Adams was one of the many members of the parish who loyally stood with George Washington during this tense, pre-Revolutionary War period in American history. The church’s pastor at the time, Reverend George Duffield, preached the “no taxation without representation” motto to his congregation – one of the rallying cries of the thirteen colonies. (Separation of church and state, by the way, is not actually addressed in the United States Constitution, as is popularly believed.) Because of his inflammatory patriotic tendencies, King George III offered 50 British pounds for Duffield, dead or alive.
|Reverend George Duffield|
|13-star U.S. flags wave by the hundreds|
Why is the Rev. George Duffield statue here?
|Detail of fence of Old Pine Street Church|
Around the summer of 2015 I noticed the tree had been cut down - except for it's tall trunk. As the months went by, I noticed changes to that trunk (I live in the area, so I see it quite often). First off, it appeared to be burnt, charred! Then, no, it had been painted black! I finally stopped in the fall of 2015 when I realized that it had been carved into the likeness of a person. Recently I stopped by to investigate further.
|Placard on fence of Old Pine Street Church|
The church had commissioned sculptor Roger Wing to carve a larger-than-life-sized statue of a bible-toting Rev. George Duffield out of the Norway maple tree trunk! He wears the vehement expression you would expect of a Revolutionary-era patriot engaging his congregation, inciting them to revolt against the King of England. The description of his oratory prowess in this Philly.com article is interesting:
"Though Duffield is buried within the church rather than in the churchyard, his likeness in battlefield pose is fitting. On those grounds are interred 285 veterans of the Revolutionary War, men who likely heard Duffield's fiery battlefield sermons in person." - In Society Hill, a Revolutionary War minister emerges from a stump
|Roger Wing's masterful carving of Duffield|
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