1587-1763

(left) Philadelphia Contributorship fire mark, Philadelphia, 1753
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection
(right) Portrait of Benjamin Franklin painted on the side of a hand-pumped fire engine, Philadelphia, around 1830 (painted about 40 years after Franklin’s death)
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection

1587–1763: The Era of Colonization and Settlement

How did Americans create philanthropic institutions in the British colonies?

How did American colonists' philanthropy differ from or connect them to British institutions?

Philadelphia Contributorship fire mark, Philadelphia, 1753 and Portrait of Benjamin Franklin painted on the side of a hand-pumped fire engine, Philadelphia, around 1830

What is Philanthropy?

What is Philanthropy?

Culture in the colonial classroom: A failed attempt at assimilation

This printed and hand-drawn birth and baptismal certificate

Containers reveal Americans thinking outside the box about philanthropy

Two young girls look through the glass of a museum display to gaze at a blue bucket among other objects like a pair of boots or a bust of a man.

Was Benjamin Franklin the father of American philanthropy?

Hat with portrait of Benjamin Franklin

Fire Prevention Week: a hot idea

Lithograph of city on fire, boats in harbor