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Philadelphia was the financial and cultural center of colonial America and of the early American republic. Because of its central location, the city was selected as the location for the Continental Congress, and served as the national capital from 1790 until 1800, when the federal government was moved to Washington, D.C.

Thomas Jefferson visited Philadelphia in 1766 to be inoculated against smallpox; in 1775, 1776, 1782, 1783, and 1784, as a member of Congress.1 He also lived there during the years 1790-1794, as Secretary of State; and in 1797-1800, as Vice President.

Thomas Jefferson's Residences in Philadelphia

  • 1775 June-May 22, 1776. Benjamin Randolph's residence on Chestnut Street.
  • 1776 May 23-September. Graff House on 7th and Market Streets.
  • 1783 January-April. Mrs. House's residence on 5th and Market Streets.
  • 1783 October 30-May 1784. Mrs. House's residence on 5th and Market Streets.
  • 1790 September 3-7. Mrs. House's residence on 5th and Market Streets.
  • 1791 May-April 1793. Thomas Leiper's house at 274 High Street.
  • 1793 April-September. Gray's Ferry.
  • 1793 September-November. Germantown.
  • 1793 November 30-January 5, 1794. Graff House on 7th and Market Streets.
  • 1797 March. James Madison's residence on Spruce Street.
  • 1797 May-May 1800. John Francis's hotel on 4th Street.


Further Sources

  • National Park Service. Independence National Historic Park. Graff House. Information about this reconstructed building in which Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence.
  • 1. Martha Jefferson never accompanied her husband on any of his stays in Philadelphia, despite portrayals to the contrary in popular media such as the play/film 1776.
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