Philadelphia is one of the oldest and most historically significant U.S. cities. It was the nation's first capital. At the time of the American Revolution, it was the second-largest English-speaking city in the world, after only London. Into the first part of the 19th century, it was the country's most populous city and eclipsed Boston and New York City in political and social importance. Benjamin Franklin played an extraordinary role in Philadelphia's rise.
Oney Judge was a slave at George Washington's plantation, Mount Vernon, in Virginia. A servant in Washington's presidential households beginning in 1789, she escaped to freedom from the Philadelphia President's House on Saturday, May 21, 1796, and defied his attempts to recapture her. More is known about her than any other Mount Vernon slave because she was twice interviewed by abolitionist newspapers in the 1840s. The Pennsylvania Gazette ran this "runaway" advertisement on May 24, 1796.
John Lester was an American cricketer, active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Lester was one of the Philadelphian cricketers who played from the end of the 19th century until the outbreak of World War I. His obituary in Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, described him as "one of the great figures in American cricket." During his career, he played in 53 matches for the Philadelphians, 47 of which are considered first class. From 1897 until his retirement in 1908, Lester led the batting averages in Philadelphia and captained all the international home matches. John Lester helped to lift Philadelphia cricket to the highest levels of international play with his leadership and understanding of the sport. He is one of the few American cricketers noted in Cricket Scores and Biographies, which said that he was "a watchful batsman who could hit well and had plenty of strokes and strong defence." In 1951 he authored A Century of Philadelphia Cricket, which was a definitive history of the game in the area. Lester was also integral in the foundation of the C.C. Morris Cricket Library when he proposed that cricket, "with a history and literature second to none should be given a permanent home in the United States."