Seven times he preached in the Colonies, to crowds up to 25,000, spreading the Great Awakening Revival, which helped unite the colonies prior to the Revolution. Ben Franklin wrote in his Autobiography: "He preached one evening from the top of the Court-house steps...Streets were filled with his hearers..I had the curiosity to learn how far he could be heard by retiring backwards down the street...and found his voice distinct till I came near Front-street." Who was Franklin describing? It was George Whitefield, who died SEPTEMBER 30, 1770. Franklin wrote of Whitefield: "Multitudes of all denominations attended his sermons...It was wonderful to see." Printing George Whitefield's sermons, Ben Franklin financed the largest building in Philadelphia for his meetings, which later became the first building of the University of Pennsylvania. Franklin wrote to George Whitefield: "I sometimes wish you and I were jointly employed by the Crown to settle a colony on the Ohio...a strong body of religious and industrious people!...Might it not greatly facilitate the introduction of pure religion among the heathen, if we could, by such a colony, show them a better sample of Christians than they commonly see in our Indian traders?"