As the Metropolis of the American Founding, Philadelphia offers a unique location and learning experience for all who are interested in exploring the religious, cultural, intellectual, social, and political origins and places of American ideals and institutions. In the 18th Century Philadelphia was the fourth largest English-speaking city in the world and the largest in British North America. Philadelphia was a hub of culture and commerce. A city founded on the principle of religious freedom, it was a microcosm of the pluralism and diversity that would later become America. In its atmosphere of toleration, it was also an intellectual center that fostered the hotbed of political ideas that eventually translated into war with and independence from Great Britain. During that conflict Philadelphia served as the capital city of the fledging United States and thus was a strategic target for British capture, occupation and subjugation in 1777. After the war from 1790-1800 the City was the capital of the United States until the federal government relocated to Washington, D.C. Thus, the Delaware River Valley region offers significant cultural, political and military historical sites of interest. As a co-curricular component of the John Jay Institute’s educational programming, tours and field studies of the city and surrounding region are an essential experience.


The John Jay Institute invites its supporters, friends and alumni to join with the Institute's resident Fellows on any of the scheduled tours and field studies below.

Upcoming Tours

View our calendar to view and sign up for upcoming tours.