John Thomas Scharf.

History of Philadelphia, 1609-1884 (Volume v.1) online

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1609 1884.



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Copyi-ight, 1884, by L. H. Everts & Co.





In presenting tliis History of Philadelphia to the ])ublic no apology is necessary. As a
record of events, as an exhibition of men, as a chronicle and exposition of institutions and
resources, the work in this particular field, it is believed, will be found a complete and satisfac-
tory record, in its every department, of the growth, development, and expansion of a munici-
pality. This is asserted with a thorough knowledge of what has been done elsewhere since
the revival of public interest in and enthusiasm for local details, and with a consciousness also
of the suspicion of arrogance and self-assumption naturally incidental to such pretensions. To
accomplish so much, and with such a degree of self-satisfaction, has been no holiday task. Of
the labor, expense, and responsibility involved, very little need be said. The proof is presented
in these volumes. In their preparation more than twenty times the compass of material,
expressly procured and arranged, in addition to the great collection of books read and examined
for collateral information, was digested, condensed, and, in the pertinent newspaper phrase,
" boiled down" to the present limits. In no sense of the word is this work founded upon,
built up out of, or repeated from, any previous one on the same subject, or any of its branches.
It is a new book, treating its theme in a new, comprehensive, and original manner, after
exhaustive research, thorough examination, and critical comparison of the best authorities, and
the most authentic documents and authoritative records. This digesting and assimilating
process has not, perhaps, been carried as far as exigent critics might demand, but in this busy
and bustling world there is not time enough to polish the front of a city hall as nicely as
one would a mantel ornament of Parian marble. The proprieties of style have, however, not
been neglected, for carelessness in that respect would have been equally unworthy of a theme so
dignified, and of the liberality and beauty of form of the publishers' work.

A history so comprehensive in its objects and scope, and embracing such an infinitude of
details, must necessarily have its limitations and defects, because of the impossibility of dis-
cussing fully a great variety of subjects without occasional errors. It would have been easy
to escape from them by making the work less copious, by avoiding dangerous or controverted
themes, and so gliding swiftly over the surface, generalizing and summing up instead of dis-
playing all the facts.

The desire to leave nothing untold which could in any way throw light upon the history
of men, events, and institutions in Philadelphia has made it impossible at times to escape
repetition. Facts, which fall within the proper cognizance of the narrative of general events,
will sometimes reappear in another shape in the records of institutions or in special chapters.
But the fault will claim the reader's indulgence, because intelligent persons prefer a twice-told
tale to one neglected or half told.


Several of the themes or chapters of tlie homogeneous whole have been treated by those
who have some particular association or long acquaintance with the subject. In the diversity
of writers there will of course be variety of opinions, but they make good the poet's description,

"Distinct as the billows, yet one as the sea,"

and may not be the worse for each offering a reflection, according to its turn to the light, without
marring the unity of the general expanse.

Without Mr. Westcott's indispensable aid and invaluable stores of material on the History
of Philadelphia, which he has been diligently collecting for the past thirty years, and which have
been used in every department of this work, it would have been impossible to present the history
of this great city in the satisfactory shape it now assumes. Indeed, as has been frequently stated
in the following pages, Mr. Westcott has devoted a lifetime to the faithful, industrious, and
intelligent pursuit of this history ; few records have escaped him, and he has supplemented their
evidence with recollections of a trustworthy character, and with testimony from a thousand
sources, such as none but the most indefatigable antiquarian would seek or could procure.
Mr. Westcott has also contributed to the work many valuable and unique drawings, portraits,
maps, plans, etc., which are now printed for the first time; and during its progress he has
also been constantly consulted by all engaged in the preparation of the special chapters, and
besides furnishing important suggestions, facts, and items, he has read and corrected all the
proofs, from the first page to the last. Besides the very efiicieut aid thus rendered during the
various stages of the work, he has specially prepared for it the chapters on " Progress from
1825 to the Consolidation of the City, in 1854;" "Music, Musicians, and Musical Societies;"
" Charitable, Benevolent, and Religious Institutions and Associations ;" " Military Organiza-
tions, Armories, Arsenals, Barracks, Magazines, Powder-Houses, and Forts;" "Municipal,
State, and Government Buildings;" "Court-Houses, Prisons, Reformatory and Correctional
Institutions, and Almshouses ;" " Public Squares, Parks and Monuments ;" " Roads, Ferries,
Bridges, Public Landings and Wharves ;" " Telegraph," and many other minor subjects.

The authors would be unjust to themselves, and to the city whose history they have written,
if they did not acknowledge, in this place, with feelings of profound gratitude, the cordial aid
extended to them and to their undertaking by the press and people of Philadelphia. They have
given the fullest encouragement throughout, and have helped materially in elaborating and
perfecting the work. Important and valuable assistance and information have been received
from the following persons, to whom also particular recognition is due :

To Frederick D. Stone, librarian of the Pennsylvania Historical Society, for valuable memo-
randa and suggestions made to tiie authors during the progress of their work ; to Frank Willing
Leach, for biographical sketches and details in regard to the press and libraries of Philadelphia ;
to Rev. W. B. Erbeu, for the preparation of the history of the Episcopal Church in Philadelphia
and its institutions and church work ; to Martin I. J. Grifiin, for the history of the Catholic
Church, and its institutions, societies, schools, and church work ; to Bishop Matthew Simpson,
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Rev. William Cathcart, D.D., of the Baptist Church,
Rev. Charles G. Ames, of the Unitarian Church, Rev. W. J. Mann, D.D., of the Lutheran
Church, Rev. W. M. Rice, of the Presbyterian Church, John Edmunds, of the Congregational


Church, and Rev. Chauncey Giles and T. S. Arthur, of the Swedenborgian Church, for efssential
assistance in the preparation of the history of their respective denominations; to Albert H.
Hoeckley, for his chapter on " Clubs and Club Life;" to Charles R. Hildeburn, the librarian of
the Athenaeum, for many kindnesses of various sorts ; to Isaac H. Shields, attorn ey-at-law, for
his complete chapter on the intricate and important subject of "The Municipal Government
of Philadelphia ;" to Lloyd P. Smith, librarian of the Philadelphia and Ridgway Library, for
many kindnesses and courtesies in smoothing the way, and contributing to the work the
details for the history of the libraries under his charge, including free access to and use of
valuable documents; to William Perrine, who contributed to the work the chapters on " Progress
from the Consolidation Act, in 1854, to the Civil War," "After the Civil War," and "Educa-
tion ;" to Rev. Jesse Y. Burke for sketch of the Pennsylvania University ; to Hon. James T.
Mitchell, who kindly revised the chapter ou the "Bench and Bar;" to John Hill Martin, author
of " The Bench and Bar of Philadelphia," who furnished valuable Civil Lists, and, with a kind-
ness and courtesy not to be forgotten, allowed the authors to extract all that they wanted from his
able work ; to Wm. B. Atkinson, M.D., who revised the chapter on the " Medical Profession,"
and S. D. Gross, M.D., LL.D., who read the proofs of the same ; to Charles A. Kingsbury, M.D.,
D.D.S., for materials on Dental Surgery and Institutions ; to Lewis J). Harlow, M.D., for
sketches of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Medical Colleges; to Miss May Forney, for the
chapter furnished by her upon " The Distinguished Women of Philadelphia ;" to Professor
R. M. Johnston, who prepared the chapter on " Literature and Literary Men ;" to Robert R.
Dearden, A. J. Bowen, J. H. C. Whiting, and John A. Fowler, for much valuable material on
the history of insurance in Philadelphia ; to CliiFord P. MacCalla, Charles E. Maver, Edward
S. Roman, John W. Stokes, George Hawkes, Walter Graham, William Hollis, John M.
Vanderslice, and John Magargee, for valuable assistance in the preparation of the chapter on
" Secret Societies and Orders."

Among others to whom acknowledgments are especially due may be mentioned the late
Edward Spencer, Charles H. Shinn, Nathaniel Tyler, Professor P. F. de Gournay, John Sar-
tain, Samuel W. Pennypacker, Dr. W. H. Burke, Professor Oswald Seidensticker, James J.
Levick, M.D., Rev. W. M. Baum, D.D., Frederick Emory, and Professor W. H. B. Thomas,
who have furnished much valuable information and assistance.

The publishers have most liberally met every desire, in respect of letter-press and engrav-
ings of portraits, maps, and other illustrations ; they have spared no expense or effort to make
the mechanical execution of the volumes equal to its subject, and they have helped in every
difficulty while the work was in progress.

Philadelphia, March 1, 1884.





The Geological Structure, Vegetation, and Animals of the Site of Philadelphia ... 17

The Indians . 30


Discovery and Occupation of the Hudson and Delaware Rivers by the Dutch . . .52



The Swedish Settlements on the Delaware ........... 61


The Planting of Philadelphia |2

William Penn "7


William Penn as a Law-Giver and Statesman 87


Founding the Great City — Penn in Philadelphia — His Administration 94


Rapid Growth of the Province and City — "Asylum for the Oppressed of all Nations" —

Movements of William Penn, 1684-1699 113


Manners and Customs of the Primitive Settlers 129


Pknn's Administration, 1699-1701 — Pennsburt Manor — The Proprietary Returns to England. 157


The Quaker City, 1701-1750 1'4




Benjamin Franklin and Philadelphia 218


Local History and Growth, 1750 to 1775 243


Philadelphia during the Kevolution. Part I. — From the Stamp Act to the Declaration of

Independence 267


Philadelphia during the Revolution. Part II. — From July 4, 1776, to the End of the British

Occupation 322


Philadelphia during the Kevolution. Part III — From the American Rboccupation to the

Declaration of Peace, Jan. 22, 1784 385


Growth of Philadelphia from the Declaration of Peace, Jan. 22, 1784, to the Passage of the

Embargo Laws of 1794 ». 433


Philadelphia from 1794 to the Close of the Century 476


First Years of the Nineteenth Century to the Trial of the Embargo Act in 1807 . . 50"

Prom the Embargo to the Close of the War of 1812-15 530


From the Treaty" of Ghent to the Close of the Quarter-Century 580


Progress from 1825 to the Consolidation, in 1854, of the various Corporations, Boroughs,
Districts, and other Municipal Bodies, which now in their united form constitute
the City of Philadelphia 617


From the Year of Consolidation, 1854, to the Beginning of the Civil War .... 716


The Civil War 735


Philadelphia after the Civil War 838



Almshouse, Friends' Old 191

Andre, Major J. . . 381

Arms op Penn 80

Arnold, Gen. Benedict 389

Association Battery . . . . . . .215

Adtoghaphs of Governors, DEpnTY Governohs, Presi-
dents OF Councils, Asslstants in the Govern-
ment, AND Speakers of Assembly, prom 1682 to

1700 128

Autographs of Penn and Attesting Witnesses to the

Charter of 1682 . Ill

Bank Meeting-House 121

Barry, John 304

Bartram's House 234

Biddle, Capt. James ....... 567

Bouquet, Henry 252

British Barracks 253

British Stamp 271

Cadwalader, John 295

Caricature of Cobbett ....... 498

Carpenters' Hali 290

Chestnut Street in 1803 511

Chew, Benjamin 345

Chew Mansion 356

Clarke's Hall and Dock Creek .... 181

Continental Currency 336

Cooper's Prospect ...... frontispiece

Cooper Shop Volunteer Refreshment Saloon . . 831

Court-House, Town Hall, and Market in 1710 . . 187

Delaware Indian Family 49

Delaware Indian Fort 43

De Vries, David Pietersen 60

Diagram of Indian House 41

Dickinson, John 276

DucHE, Ret. Jacob 291

Ddche's, Rev. Jacob. House 292

Evans, Oliver 521

Evans' Steam Carriage 522

Fac-Simile of "Weekly Mercury" .... 227

Ferguson, Mrs. Elizabeth 391

Fort Casimir or Trinity Fort 70

' Fort Wilson," Residence op James Wilson . . 401


Franklin at the Age of Twenty .... 220

Franklin, Benjamin 458

Franklin's Birthplace 219

Franklin's Certificate as Member of Assembly, and

Receipt for Salary 240

Franklin's Grave 459

Franklin's Press 229

Gallatin, Albert 580

Germantown Academy 255

GiRARD, Stephen 630

Girard's Dwelling and Counting-House in 1831 . 631

GoDDARD, William 285

Gordon, Patrick 178

Great Seal of Pennsylvania in 1712, Obverse and

Reverse ......... 122

Head-Dress for the Meschianza .... 380

Henry, Alexander 803

Holme's Map of Philadelphia and Surrounding Ter-
ritory 108

Holme's Portraiture of Philadelphia ... 96

Horticultural Hall 847

House where Jefferson wrote the Declaration or

Independence 320

Hudson, Henry 53

Independence Bell 245

Independence Hall in 1778 322

Independence Hall in 1876 (Interior) . . . 318

Indian Autographs 39

Kane, Dr. Elisha K 725

Keith, Governor Sir William 177

Lafayette Arch 609

Letitia House 109

Lindstrom's Map of Delaware Bay and River . 74

Lindstrom's Map of New Sweden on the Delaware. 73

Logan, James 161

London Copfee-Hodse 282

Machinery Hall 845

Macpherson Blue, A 494

Main Centennial Exhibition Building . . 841

Map op Delaware Bay^ and River .... 71

Market-House (Second and Pine Streets) . . 213

McLane, Col. Allen 375


Meide, Gen. George G

Meeting-Place of the First Assembly at Upland .

Mehorial Hall

Meschianza Procession

Meschianza Ticket

Miles, Gen. Samdei

Mifflin, Thomas


Morris, Robert

"Morris House" (Samuel B. Morris' House, Wash-
ington's Residence in Germantown in 1793)

Mount Pleasant

Mud Island in 1777 . . ,

Nixon, John

Oath and Signatures of Governor Markham's Council
IN 1681

Oath of Allegiance

Oswald, Col. Eleazer

Paine, Thomas

Paoli Monument

Patterson, Gen. Robert

Penn, John

Penn, William . . . . . ■ .

Penn's Bcrial-Place

Penn's Brew-House

Penn's Clock

Penn's Treaty-Tree in 1800

Pennsylvania Hall

Pennsylvania Journal

Philadelphia Arcade

Philadelphia Bank


Plan of British Fortifications around Philadelphia
in 1777

Plan op Fort Mifflin

Plan op the Battle of Germantown ....

Plan of the Town and Fort of Christiana

Plat of Approaches to Germantown ....







363 I
354 !
64 i


Plat of Operations on the Delaware . . . 306

Poor Richard Almanac, 1733, Title-Page op . . 237
President's Chair, and the Besk upon which the

Declaration of Independence was Signed . . 317

Provincial Currency 197

Reed, Joseph 279

Residence of Lord Howk 351

Rittenhouse, David 263

Rittenhocse Observatory at Norriton . . . 261

Sanitary Fair Building . ■ 815

Schuylkill Club Emblem 233

Scull & Heap's Map of Philadelphia in 1750 . . 14

Seal op Philadelphia in 1683 Ill

Seal of Philadelphia in 1701 173

Second Street north from Market about 1800 . 511

Shee, John 307

Shippen, Edward (First Mayor) 158

Slate-Roof House 147

Slave Advertisements 200, 256

State- House in 1744 207

Stewart, Capt. Charles 748

Stone Prison 202

St. Augustine's Catholic Church 667

St. Clair, Gen. Arthur 437

Stuart, George H. 830

Stuyvesant, Governor Peter . . . . ,68

Susquehannah Indian 33

Thomson, Charles 274

Thomson's, Charles, Residence 275

Title-Page op Frame's Poem 223

Unite or Die 303

Walnut Street Prison 267

Washington's Headquarters at Valley Forge . . 369

Washington Guards 563

Welsh, Hon. John 842

Wharton Mansion 377

Whitefield, George ....... 238

Willing, Thomas 276




" Pulchra duos inter sitastat Philadelphia rivos ;
luter quos duo suut niillia longa via.
Delawtir Iiic major, Scvlkil minor ille vocutur ;
India et Suevis notus uterque diu.
.^dibus ornatur multis urbs limite tungu,
QuBB parva emicuit tempore magna brevi.
Hie plateas mensor spatiis ilelineat ipquis,
Et domui recto est ordine juncta domus."
— Tho:mas Makin. In landpn Peiinsyh^aiiitf }im>i

History, as men have come to learn, is not simply
the annals of kings and queens, of factions and par-
ties, nor must it rest with recording the battles and
movements of armies and the proceedings of parlia-
ments and assemblies. To satisfy intelligent inquiry,
to instruct as well as amuse, it should present a pic-
ture of the country and the people, and show how
external circumstances and internal relations have
reciprocally acted one upon the other to mould char-
acter and determine events. The court, the forum,
the public assemblage are not to be neglected, but the
full history of a country or a period cannot be written
until we have accompanied the people to their firesides,
and seen how they lived, ate, dressed, thought, spoke,
and looked. The historian should be an artist, full
of sincerity, full of imagination, and even a degree
of sentiment for his work, but that work must be
founded in the first instance upon close, accurate, ex-
haustive study of the age, the men, the manners and
customs, and all the private concerns, as well as the
public performances of the community which is
dealt with. In the pursuit of such inquiries nothing
which is relevant can be trivial, for history resembles
a post-mortem examination, which must be so con-
ducted as to enable us not onlv to reconstruct an

Note. — The autlior wishes to state i n advance that not only the preeen t
chapter, but mucli of all that succeeds it, has been prepared in associa-
tion with Thompson Westcott, and with the indispensable aid of bis
manuscripts, his collections of material, his researches, and his e.\ten-
sive publications on the subject of the history of Philadelphia. He has
devoted a lifetime to the faithful, industrious, and intelligent pureuit of
this history; few records have escaped him, and he has supplemButed
their evidence with recollections of a trustworthy character and testi-
mony from a thousand sources, such as none but the most indefatigable
antiquarian would seek or could procure access to. Such aid, such cheer-
ful Co-operation, such fruitful products of untiring industry in special in-
vestigation cannot fail to make the present work luminous in respect
of that intimate local information and those obscure but essential par-
ticulars into which so few histories descend.

actual living frame from inanimate remains, giving
accurately all the details of race, age, sex, complexiun,
frame, general conformation, and individual peculi-
arity, but to show also with firm and irrefutable
demonstration what was the lesion under which the
vital powers were extinguished, what organs were
affected, and how their disorder came to be climaxed
in dissolution. An era or an epoch is as the life of a
man, and must be studied with the aid of the scalpel
and the microscope. In no other way can an accurate
and vivid reproduction of the past be effected. Es-
pecially should the historian avoid interpreting a past
age by the feelings, sentiments, and experiences of the
present. He must, as nearly as possible, assimilate
himself to the times and the men he is describing,
analyze their shortcomings and prejudices in the same
atmosphere and light that engendered them, and
enter into the period as if he belonged to it. Thus,
as Taine has acutely said, " through reflection, study,
and habit we succeed by degrees in producing senti-
ments in our minds of which we were at first uncon-
scious ; we find that another man in another age
necessarily felt difiierently from ourselves ; we enter
into his views and then into his tastes, and as we place
ourselves at his point of view we comprehend him,
and in comprehending him find ourselves a little less

The historian who holds this opinion of his duty
and his task must always look with peculiar pleasure
upon all that concerns the birth, growth, and develop-
ment of cities, for it is in these congregated and
crowded communities that man is seen working at
most freedom from the restrictions and limitations of
nature and evolving the greatest results from that
complex and co-operative force which we call society.
Civilization itself is the product of civic and social
life, and depends for its continuance upon the main-
tenance of society in a healthy civic condition. The
city is the fountain of progress ; it is the type, how-
ever, and exemplar of the State, though often it« fore-

The city of Philadelphia must always be an object
of particular and inexhaustible interest to the student
of American history and American institutions. Pecu-
liar in its origin and initial institutions, — a city which
was made and did not spring spontaneously from the
concurrence of circumstances and surroundings, — it
yet took its place at a very early day as the focus of



American tendencies and aspirations, and became the
centre and tlie birtliplace of the United States as an
independent Commonwealth. In the military and in
the political history of this nation Philadelphia occu-
pies the foremost place. It was founded as an asylum
of peace and the home of pacific industry, but it be-
came not only the sport and the prey of contending
armies, but the arsenal of the war-making power of
the continent during seven years of eager and fluctu-
ating contest. The greatest of deliberations were
carried forward to national conclusions within its ven-
erated walls, and from it as a centre were derived those
impulses to sublime action which attain even grander
proportions as they recede in the vista of time. Here,
too, American industry was first fostered in a pecu-
liarly national and American way, until a continental
policy grew out of local practice and the successes
which attended local experiment. Philadelphia has
besides a liistory of its own, which catches in a pecu-
liar manner the light of the genius loci. In many re-
spects of constitution, institutions, municipal rule and
law, construction, manners and customs, it is dissimi-
lar from other cities and possesses a physiognomy all
its own. It is the aim of the present work to give the
history of Philadelphia with accuracy and intelli-
gence, omitting nothing that will contribute in any
degree to illustrate its origin and growth, its national
importance, and its peculiar local features, — to paint
a portrait of the city as it was and as it is, in which
every lineament shall be truthfully portrayed and
represented with life and vigor enough to make its

Online LibraryJohn Thomas ScharfHistory of Philadelphia, 1609-1884 (Volume v.1) → online text (page 1 of 216)