James Mease.

The picture of Philadelphia, giving an account of its origin, increase and improvements in arts, sciences, manufactures, commerce and revenue online

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THE

^ 9/ PICTURE

1 f N , ; OF

ij PHILADELPHIA,

;

' I VG ^IjY ACCOUXT of its ORIGIjXy LYCREJSE
SrJ *5JV7> IMPROVEME^TTS

^ ^^MRTS, SCIENCES, ]>LiNUFACTURES,

COMMERCE AND REVENUE.
WITH A COMPENDIOUS

VIEW OF ITS SOCIETIES,



LITERARY, BENEVOLENT, PATRIOTIC, &. RELIGIOU;?.

I ITS POLICE-THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS— THE PRISON AND
IV' PENETENTIARY SYSTEM-INSTITUTIONS,

MONIED AND CIVIL-MUSEUM.




BY J.iJMES MEASE, M. D.



PHILADELPHIA :

PUBLISHED BY B. & T. KITE, NO. 20, N. THIRD-STREET;
For Sale by them and Joseph Dtlaplaine.

181L




JJiSriilCT OF I^EA^YSTLKLYIJ, to ^^iu

BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the \ sev(

teenth day of September, in the thirty-sixtj 4 yg

I of the independence of the United States of ' Am

rica, A. D. 1811, Benjamin and Thomas Kite,l of tj

^^^^ said district, liave deposited in this office i he t

• .u ®^ f ^"°^' ^^^ ^^8"^^ whereof thev claim a s pre
prietors, m the words following-, to wit : " The Picture o\ P Ph
ladelphia, g-ivmg an account of its origin, increase and imri.rovp
ments m arts, sciences, manufactures, commerce and re^ntie
AVith a compendious view of its societies, literary, benevdlenf
patriotic and religious. Its police-the public buildings-4he
prison and penetentiary system-institutions, monied and civiJ^
museum. By James Mease, M.D" auut,uii>.

intitu'lef "A.?i"/f' i^^^^t^^ ^^«"^^^s« «^the United States,
ntituled. An Act for the encoui'agement of learning, bv secu ,
ring the copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors an^
proprietors oi such copies during the times therein mentioned.'^
And also to the Act, entitled, " An Act supplementary to or
Act, entitled "An Act for the encouragemiiU of learning
securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the au' ' /
and proprietors of sucii copies during the times therein m /
ed," and extcnduig the benefits thereof to the arts of desie^ '
engraying, and etching historical and other prints." '

D. CALDWELL,
Clerk of the District of Paxnsyhaniai



CONTENTS.



It



1



ntroductory History^ . , „ - -

'Topographical Description, - - - - 15

Various Plans of the City, - - - - - 1 7
jpeneral Description - -. - - 20

jPlan of the Wards, 29

Population, - - - -30

"Number of Houses, - - - - - - 32

JTable of Prosressive Population, _ - - ib.

,, Deaths in 1793, 1797, - - - - - 37

"Causes of Increase of Population, - - - 38

•Climate, - - - - 40

Diseases and Mortality, - - - 45

iBills of Mortality, 47

, jComparative Health of Philadelphia and New York, 5 1
1 Commerce, - - - -52

•Exports, - - - - - - -'-53

'.♦Tonnage, - - - - - - -54

'•PricesCurrent, in 1720, 1798 Sc 1811, - - 55

Jnspectionof Beef and Pork, - - - - 55

I Flour, ~ ~ . . . ' 57

J- • — —r Shad and Herring, - - - - 60

Butter, - - - - - - 61

. — — - Flax-seed, - - - 62

■ ■ Shingles, - - - r - 63

' ■ Lumber, - - - - - ib.

.<]WeRsurer of Gr^n, Weigh Masters, - - - 67



II



"iv CONTENTS. \

Chamber of Commerce,

Survey of Damaged Ships and Cargoes,
Wardens of the Port, - - - - _

Pilots, - - -«. .7
Harbour INIaster, - ..._

iVIanufactures, - -

Breweries — Distilleries, 77)

Abstract of the Marshal's Report, - - - 79

Press — History — Progress — PiTsent State, - 80

News-papers in Philadelphia, (See jifijiendix.) - 8.'^
Periodical works, formerly published in Philadelphia,
Present Periodical Publications, - - -

Pormer Government in Philadelphia,
PresentGovernment of the Citv, - - -

" -*- of Southwark, - - -

-~ ^ Northern Liberties,

Circuit and District Courts, - - - - .

STATE LAW COURTS.

3 . Civil Courts, - ...,

2. Common Pleas, - - - - -

3. District Court, - - -

4. Criminal Courts, - - -

BANKS.

1. Of North America, - - - - .

2. Of Pennsylvania, - - -

3. Of Philadelphia, - - -

4. Farmers and Mechanics, - - - -

INSURANCE OFFICES. |

\. Insurance Company of North America, - - 10

2. Insurance Company of Pennsylvania, ♦ - 10i>

3. Union Insurance Company, - - - • ib.

4. Phoenix Insurance Company, - - - ib,

5. Delaware Insurance Company, - - - 111
ft. United States Insurance Company, - - ib.
7. Marine Insurance Company, - - - 1 13



CONTENTS. V

8. Lancaster and Susquehanna Insurance Cotnpany? ib.

9. Mutual Fire Assurance Company, - - 114
Uo. American Fire Insurance Company, - - 115

11. Phoenix Company of London, - - - 116

Markets — Provisions, - - - ^ - ib.

Preservation of the Peace, - - - 123
Constable's Elections, - - - - - ib.

Zity Commissioners, - '- - - - 124

Watching and lighting, - - - - - 124
Cleansing the Streets, - - - - - 125

Fuel — Wood Corders — Public Landings, - - ib.

Sale of Bread, 128

Protection of Mechanics and Labourers, - - 130
Storing of Gun Powder, - - - - - ib.

Boiling of Oil of Turpentine and Varnish, - - 1 3 1
Health Law, - - - - - .. ^ ib.

Provision against Fire, - - - - - 1 37

Hose CoTn'piimeSi (See Jji/ie7idix\) - - - 138
Wooden Buildings — Law on, - - - - 1 40

Weights and Measures, - - - - - 1 4 1

Auctioneers, - - - - - - - 144

City Surveyors, - - - - - -145

Water-works, • - - - - - - J 47

Mint, 154

Jail and Penetentiary System, - - - - 138

Law for Debtors, - - - - - -186

Elections, - - - - -i-gi

Revenue and Expenditure, - - - - 193

Sinking Fund, - - - - - - -195

Taxes and mode of Assessing, - - - - 196

Religious Societies, - - - - - -199

Places of W^orship, 217

Remarks on Spirit of Toleration, _ - _ 223

Charitable Institutions, - - - - -224

1. Pennsylvania Hospital, ib.

2. Philadelphia Dispensary, - - - _ 236

3. Humane Society, - - - - - - 2-iO

Society for Vaccineaing the Poor, - - _ 343

.Charitable Society, - - - - ^ -



vi CONTENTS.

Abolition Society, - - - '

Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Prisons, - 243
IVIagdalen Society, - - - 245

PRIVATE AND ENDOWED INSTITUTIONS.

1. Friend's Alms House, 246

2. Christ Church Hospital, - - - . 247



ASSOCIATIONS FOR GENERAL CHARITY.



i



t



l» Female Society for the Employment of the Poor, 24.

2. Female Hospitable Society, - - - . 248

3. Female Association, - - - 250

FREE SCHOOLS.

1. Sunday School Society, - ' - - - 251

2. Philadelphia Society for the establishment and

support of Charity Schools, - - - 252

3. Aimwell School Society, - - - - 25-^

4. Philadelphia Union Society, - - - - 257

5. St. Joseph's Society, - - - 258

B. Adelphi School, - - - 25P

Public Provision for Free Education, - _ . 262

Schools for the Education of Blacks, - . . ^^.

PATRIOTIC SOCIETIES.

i. Domestic Society, - - - 264

2. Agricultural Society, - - - - -266

3. Cattle Society, - - - - _ - i^,

MUTUAL BENEFIT SOCIETIES.

1. Of Carpenters, - - - 267

2. Ship Master's Society, - - . . 268

3. Pilot's Society, - - - - - -270

4. Mariner's Society, - - - - - f^,

5. Stone-cutter's Society, - - . - n,^

6. Bricklayer's Society, - - - - - 271



CONTE'NTS. vU

*i. Hair-dresser's Society, , - - * 272

8. Typographical Society, - - - - ib.

9. Mastxir Taylor's Society, - - - - 274
10. Provident Society of House Carpenters, - ib,
\\. Master Mechanic's Society, - - - 275
Societiesof various other Mechanics, - - . - 276

OTHER MUTUAL BENEFIT SOCIETIES.

1. Provident, - - - - - ,- - 276

2. Philanthropic, 277

3. Columbian Benevolent, - - - - if).
Several others, - - - - 278

Summary of their Constitutions, - - - - 278
Society of Masons, - - - - - -288

ASSOCIATIONS FOR RELIEF OF FOREIGNERS,

1. St. Andrews, - .-.- 280

2. St. George, 281

3. Welsh, ib,

4. Hibernian, - - - - - - ' ib.

5. German Incorporated Society, ... 233

MUTUAL BENEFIT SOCIETIES OF FOREIGNElftS AND
THEIR DESCENDENTS.

1. United German Benefit Society, - - . 283

2. German American Mutual Assistant Society, - 284

3. Caledonian Society, - - - j^.

4. Scots Thistle Society, - - - - - 285

5. St. Patrick's Benevolent Society, - - . 587

6. Society de Bienfaisance, - - _ > 4^.

Bible Society, - - - - t^.

Provision for the Poor, - - - - - 292

Private Provision for the Poor, - . - - 333

1. Fund for supplying the Poor with Fuel, - - 340

2. Fund to relieve the Poor placed in the City Hos-

pital, during the prevalence of the Yellow

Fever, ■ 341



J

rui CONTENTS. ,

LITERARY INSTITUTIONS.

1. Friend's School, 2.96

2. University of Pennsylvania, - - - - ib.

3. American Philosophical Society, - - - 300

4. Medical Society, - - - 302

5. College of Physicians, - - - - - ib.

6. Medical Lyceum, - - - 303

7. Linnean Society, - - - ^ • - /^.

LIBRARIES.

1. Philadelphia Librar)', 305

2. Loganian, do. - - - - - " - 308

3. Friend's, do. 310

Peale's Museum, - - - - - - 311

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, - - - 3 1 4
Society of Artists, - - - - - -316

PUBLIC BUILDINGS.

Old CourtHouse, - - -,. - - - 317
State House, - - - - - - -318

Old College, - 319

Bank of the United States, - - - . 320

' Pennsylvania, - - - - - 321

Philadelphia, - - - - -id.

County Court House and City Hall, - - - 324
University of Pennsylvania, - - . . 325

Independent Tabernacle, - - - 326
Baptist Chuixh, - -.._ i^.

Theatre, 328

Circus, - - - - - - - -331

Masonic Hall, -

City Hospital, - .- - - - - ..



00^



CONTENTS. ix

Literary Charactersj - - - - . 336

Frankliii's Legacy, - - - 333

John Keble's Legacies, ... - - 342

Tours in tiie Vicinity of Philadelphia, - - 344

APPENDIX.

Omission respecting the proposer of Hose Companies-
Notice of St. Michael's Church.
Notice of Aitken's Bible, of 1782.
Correction respecting the Streets.



PREFACE.



IN composing a work like the present, the au-
thor is of opinion that the chief object ought to be
the multiplication of facts, and that the reflections
arising oat of them, should be left to the reader.
He has, therefore, avoided making any remarks upon
subjects treated of, except in a few instances where
they were in a measure drawn from him by the oc-
casion, and where it was thought they would elu-
cidate what had preceded. Aware of the inaccuracy
of tradition, he has cautiously admitted some nar-
rations of occurrences among the early settlers,
and has intentionally omitted others which, after a
minute investigation, he tound could not be sup-
ported. He is conscious, however, that he might
have rendered his detail of " old times" more in-
teresting, if he ha.d been favoured with the docu-
ments which, he supposes, must remain in the fa-
milies oi' the original settlers, and which he flatter-
ed himself would have been offered, when it v»*as
known that an attempt was about to be made to
trace the progress of the city from its settlement
to the present time.

Upon some subjects he has forborn to speak, be-
cause he found that in considering them, he could
not be moderate. He will onlv mention one ; the
public squares : — the prostitution of wbiich, in the



Xli PREFACE.

thickly settled parts of the city, and the neglect to
enclose and plant the rest, in order to prepare for the
comfort and health of a population, rapidly in-
creasing, loudly call for reprehension. — European
nations will hear with astonishment, that out oi the
five squares, expressly set apart, by the benevolent
founder of the city, for the purpose of public walks,
and the salutary recreation of future generations, not
one has been exclusively appropriated to its des-
tined object! — that parts of some of them have
been applied to the most injurious uses ; and that
even an open space near the Delaware, in the south-
ern part of the city, also left for general benefit, has
been rented for a board yard ! !

The example set by the city of New York is
praise-worthy in the highest degree, and deserving
of imitation by a city which boasts, (and with much
propriety), of many excellent establishments, tend-
ing to promote and preserve health and general
comfort.



PICTURE



OF



PHILADELPHIA.



INTRODUCTORY HISTORY.

WE are indebted for the discovery of the river
Delaware, to the commercial spirit which was roused
in England by Sir V/alter Raleigh, in the year 1584.
Some of the expeditions of that enterprising, but
unfortunate man, were attended with singular cala-
mity ; but the hopes of better fortune, induced others
to persevere in exploring the same quarter of the
globe ; and in consequence of the success that at-
tended the voyages of some private adventurers from
England to the northern parts of the present United
States, application was made to King James the first,
by several merchants to incorporate them for the
purpose of trading to Virginia, by which name the
country in general was known. Two companies were
accordingly formed ; one designated by the name
of the ^r^f 6'(5/o72z/, with liberty to begin their first
settlements at any place betvfeen the 34th and 41st
degrees of North latitude. A second Colony had
permission to settle between 38° and 45° of North
latitude: — This company taking the name of the

A



2 , IXTRODUCTOFiY HISTOHY.

South Virginia company, commenced their first voy-
age in 1606, and discovered the Capes of Virginia,
and proceeding up James river, planted themselves
at James Town.

Henry Hudson, with the design of finding a
North West passage to the East Indies, left the
Texel in 1609, but it does not appear from his
journals, whether he was employed by the E. India
Company, or by an individual. Having failed in the
object ot his voyage, he followed the tract of the
Cabots ; coasted along the shores of Newfound-
land, and proceeding southwardly, anchored off the
Delavv'are.

In 1610, Thomas Vvest, Lord Delav/ar, was ap-
pointed Governor by the South Virginia company,
who falling in with the land about two degrees to the
Northv/ard of the Capes of Virginia, discovered
a capacious Bay, and named it after himself.

The Dutch government purchased the right of
Hudson's discoveries, and incorporated a company
in 1621, for trading to the country. The particu-
lar progress they made cannot now be ascertained,
neither is it ot much consequence. We know cer-
tainly, that they gave the name of New Nether-
lands to all the country from New York tathe Dela-
ware, and some distance south of it : and that in 1623
they took possession of the Delaware, which they
named Ziiydt river, in opposition to the Hudson,
^^vhich w^as called North river. At that early peri-
od, they built fort Nassau, at, or near Gloucester,
on the Jersey shore, about three miles below the pre-
sent City oi Philadelphia.

In 1627", the first colony of Sw^edes arrived, and
landing at the interior cape of Delaware bay, named
it Point Paradise. William Useling, a Dutchman who
had previously visited the country, appears to have
excited the Swedes, to emigrate to the new w^orld,



IXTRODUCTORY HISTORY. 3

and a large company was formed of the first people
in Sweden, under whose auspices the enterprize was
commenced."^

In 1630, under the direction of Peterson deVrics,
the Dutch extended their settlements up the Dela-
ware, on the Western side, as far as Bompt-Hook,
the place now known by the name Bombay- Hook,
which they called Swandale. The eastern cape of
the bay they called Cape-May, after Cornelius Jacobs
May, an early Dutch American navigator. The
Bay was named Nieii Port May, and Godyns Bay,
from Samuel Godyn, an eminent merchant oi Amster-
dam, who was greatly interested in the first settle-
ment of the New Netherlands, and is frequently men-
tioned by P. de Vries in his account of the country.

In 1631, the Swedes built a fort on Manquas
creek, and called it after their queen, Christiana :
here they made their first regular settlement, which
has been continued to the present time, and by the
same name. They finally fixed their head quarters
at Fort Gottemburgh, on the Island of Tinnicum,
about twelve miles below the present City of Phi-
ladelphia.!

A church of wood was erected at Tinnicum, and
consecrated September 4, 1646. The Swedes at that
time had several small settlements higher up the
river, and a few forts, viz. at Korsholin on Passa-
jung ; another on Manajung, (Schuylkill,) one at
Chinsessing, (Kingsess.) On the Jersey side they
built fort Elsinburgh, and settled various places be-
tween that and Cape May. The country generally,
was called New Sweden : the river New Swedeland
stream ; and by these names they described the



* Holm's description of New Sweden. Stockholm 1702.
f Near the Lazaretto. — The remains of the inhabitants are
occasionally discovered there at this day.



4 INTRODUCTORY HISTORY.

country in the works which they published respecting
it in Sweden. Governors were regularly appointed
in Sweden. John Printz was their first Governor,
and until 1654.

The Dutch built a fort at Hoerkill, on the west
side of the Capes, in 1630, but appear to have giv-
en the preference to New York, as a place of resi-
dence, owing to the greater facilities it aftorded for-
the purposes of commerce. They however, omitted
no opportunity to assert their right to the country
on the South River, as appears by a letter of Gover-
nor Kieft, from New Amsterdam, to P. Minuitts,
Governor of New Sweden, in 1638 : in which he
asserts, " that the whole south river of New Neth-
erlands, had been in the Dutch possession many
years, above and below, beset with forts, and sealed
Vv4th their blood."* And in 1642, the colonists from
Maryland, having settled on Schuylkill, Keift fitted
out two sloops to drive them away ; a measure which
the Swedes were either unwilling to undertake, or
unable to accomplish. The mother countries, howe-
ver, appear to have deemed it most prudent to permit
the colonists to settle their own disputes ; for in the
treaty of peace between the Swedes and Dutch, in
1640, held at Stockholm, no notice was taken of
American affairs.

In 1651, the Dutch erected a trading house on
the spot where the town of New Castle is now sit-
uated. Printz, the Swedish governor, on Tinnicum,
contented himself with iormally protesting against
the incroachment : but not accompanying his paper
by m.ore vf eighty considerations, he was disregarded.
Risingh, his successor in the government, came be-
fore the fortress, fired a salute, and landed thirty
men, who were entertained by the commandant as



* Smith's History of New York.



INTRODUCTORY HISTORY. 5

friends : but having discovered the weakness of the
garrison, he seized upon it, and compelled some of
the people to swear allegiance to his queen^. This
conquest, however, was of short duration ; for in the
y^ar J 655, the Dutch West India Company deter-
mining to recover their possessions, applied to the
city of Amsterdam for assistance, and sent governor
Stuyvezant with six or seven vessels, and seven hun-
dred men, to the Delaware, where he arrived on
the' ninth of September. Having anchored his fiv-ct,
and landed the troops, a demand was made of the
fort. The commander Suen Scutz, was a soldier by
profession, and had lost a leg in the Dutch service.
But though probably not deficient in courage, nor in-
disposed to defend his post, yet perceiving his for-
ces so inferior to that oi his enemy, as to render re-
sistance of no avail, he prefered an honourable cap-
itulation to the useless w^aste of human li.e. He
therefore surrendered on the 16th Septembei-. Four
fourteen pound cannoa, live swivells, and some small
arms, composed the list of offensive weapons found
in the fort. Risingh commanded at Christiana, which
also surrendered on the 25th of the same month.
Finally, fort Gottemburgh, on Tinnicum, was deliv-
ered up, and razed : all the houses outside of the
fort destroyed ; and to prevent further attempts on
the part of the Swedes, to regain possession, the offi-
cers and principal persons were shipped to New
Amsterdam, and thence to Europe. Thus the Dutch
became masters of all the country on the west side
of the Delaware, w^hich was for a time governed
by the deputies of the Company's Director General
at New Amsterdam, from whom the titles of many
tracts of land may be traced to this da}'..

In 1664 Charles the Second oi England gave a
large tract of land including all the country known



* Holm's description of NewSv/eden,



S INTRODUCTORY HISTORY.

by the name of New Netherlands to his brother
James, Duke of York, under whose direction an ex-
pedition consisting of four ships and 300 men, com-
manded by Colonel NichoUs, was sent against the
colony. After receiving possession of the fort at New
Amsterdam, from Stuyvezant, he dispatched Sir
Robert Carr with the ships to the Delaware, who ex-
perienced no opposition from the settlers, and on
the first of October took possession of New-Ams-
tel (now New Castle) after articles of capitulation,
of the most liberal nature had been signed; Nicholls
was appointed governor, and acted as such until the
year 1688, when he w^as succeeded by Carr. In 1672
war having taken place between England and the
Dutch, the latter sent a few ships against New- York.
The commander Manning, through treachery sur-
rendered the fort wiihout resistance: the people on
Delaware again changed masters, and sent deputies
to New Amsterdam declaring their submission, but
in the space of a few months in consequence of a trea-
ty of peace between England, and the States Gene-
ral, they were again restored to the British, and
Captains Cantweil and Tom deputed by the govern-
ment of New-York, to take possession of the coun-
try on the Delaware. A well known creek in Dela-
ware, bears the name of the first, and a river in New-
Jersey perpetuates that of the last.

Peace was thus restored to the harassed emigrants,
who continued to extend their settlements up the
river, and to cultivate the friendship of the natives.

The father of William Penn was an admiral in the
service ox England, and was second in command under
James Duke of York in 1665, in the engagement
with, and victory over the Dutch fleet commanded
by Van Opdam. He had also served in several dis-
tinguished offices at home, and had lent a conside-
rable sum of money to the crown. At the time of his
death, there were also arrearages to a large amount
due to him, for pay* William Penn himself had in



INTRODUCTORY HISTORY. 7

common with the religious persuasion of which he
was a member, suffered considerable persecution; and
perceiving an opportunity oi obtaining some remune-
ration for his father's debts, and an assylum for him-
self and oppressed friends by a grant of part of the
New World, petitioned King Charles the Second in
June 1680 for a tract of land lying North of the
patent previously granted to Lord Baltimore, boun-
ded by the Delaware on the East. This request was
accordingly granted, and letters patent tor the desi-
red tract passed the great Seal on the fourth of March
1681.

The considerations stated, were " the commenda-
ble desire of William Penn, to enlarge the British
Empire, and promote useful commodities ; to reduce
the savage natives by just and gentle manners to
the love of civil society and christian religion," to-
gether with " a regard to the memory and merits of
his late father."

A brief account of the country was immediately
published, and lands offered for sale on the low terms
of forty shillings per hundred acres, and one shilling
per annum for ever. Adventurers numerous, and
many of them w^ealthy and respectable, soon offered,
with whom, articles of agreement were entered in-
to and published under the title of " conditions or
concessions" chiefly respecting rules of settlement,
a just and friendly conduct towards the natives, with
some injunctions as to the preservation of internal or-
der, and keeping the peace, agreeably to the customs,
usages and laws of England.

In May 1681 Penn detached Markham, his rela-
tion with a small emigration in order to take posses-
sion of the country and to prepare it for a more nu-
merous Colony.^

In April 1682 was published "the iirst frame of
government of the province, consisting of twenty-



* Chalmer's annals, p. 640.



3 INTRODUCTORY HISTORY.

four articles. A body of laws was also agreed upon
in England with the adventurers, and published in
the succeeding month. They were partly of a po-
litical, partly of a moral, and partly oi" an economi-
cal nature, and have been noticed by an acute histo-
rian, as "doing honour to their wisdom as statesmen,
to their morals as men, to their spirit as Colonists."
" A plantation" he adds, " reared on such a seed
plot, could not fail to grow with rapidity, to advance
to maturity, to attract notice of the world. ^



Online LibraryJames MeaseThe picture of Philadelphia, giving an account of its origin, increase and improvements in arts, sciences, manufactures, commerce and revenue → online text (page 1 of 28)