John Collins Warren.

Genealogy of Warren, with some historical sketches online

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death that he w'rote to his fellow-trustees, " I am sorry that
the declining State of my Health, and my Intention of re-
moving for my future Habitation to a Distance from the
City, render it inconvenient for me and injurious for the
Institution to serve longer as a Trustee. I therefore desire
you will be pleased to accept my Resignation of that Place
and Duty. Wishing continual Prosperity to the Institution,
I am Gentlemen Your most obed' humble Servant Tho'
Cadwalader." *

' Some of the erroneous opinions about this have been derived from
statements that are unauthentic and from a " fac-simile" that is mis-
leading in the publication called "Benjamin Franklin and the Univer-
sity of Pennsylvania." Washington, Bureau of Education, 1893.

' Minutes of the Trustees, November 12, 1751.

* Montgomery, Thomas Harrison. History of the University of Penn-
sylvania from its Foundation to A. D. 1770. Philadelphia, 1900, pp.
178, 210.

* Minutes of the Board of Trustees, vol. ii., 17G8-1790, p. 145.

VOL. XXVII. — 18

274 Sketch of (he Life of Dr. Thomas CodicalaJtT.

Dr. Cad'.valaJer was a nuniiT)er of the Common Council
of Philadelphia from October 1, 1751, to October 4, 1774,'
and of the Governor's Council, commonly called tlie Pro-
\'incial Council, from Xovember 2, 1755, until the AVar of
the Eevolution - dissolved this body, although ho attended
only one meeting after he presided at the '' Great Tea
fleeting" held in the State-House yard on October 18,
1773. This meeting adopted those resolutions known as
the "Philadelphia Resolutions," which were copied in
Boston, in its manifestations of opposition to the oppressive
acts of the British government at that time. This act had
so committed him against the policy of the Governor as to
make it unpleasant for him to attend the meetings.

His appointment to the Council was made in the year
of Braddock's defeat, and the first meeting he attended was
on a Sunday, when the Council had been hurriedly called
together in consequence of the alarming news received of
the near approach of hostile Lidians, whose slaughtering
progress had reached the banks of the Susquehanna Eiver,
near where Harrisburg now stands, and the neighborhood
of Bethlehem and Reading. It was about this time that
the inhabitants of the country were so alarmed for them-
Belves and so impressed with what they considered the
indiiierence of the Quakers, living in the security of a large
city, that they sent the stiff and frozen bodies of a massa-
cred family to Philadelphia, paraded them through the
streets, and set them down before the legislative hall.^

Li August, 1755, just after Braddock's defeat, his patriotic
zeal led him to be one of twenty men who ofiered to pay
each five hundred pounds, to make up the amount assessed

^ Minutes of the Common Council of the City of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia, 1847, pp. 550, 798.

' Pennsylvania Archives, 2d series, vol. ix. p. 6:23.

Minutes of the Provincial Council. Colonial Records of Pennsyl-
vania, puhlished by the State, 1851. vol. vi. pp. 6GG, G(37, Q<6ii.

There are many errors in different historical sketches in regard to the
dates of Dr. Cadwalader's connection with the Provincial Council.

» Watson's Annals, 1830, p. 449.

Sketch of the Life of Dr. Thmnns QuhralaJn: 275

for the purpose of the public defence, ;llraiu^t tlie estate.- nf
tlie Proprietaries, wlien the Governor, by (Icnvimr th.' riLrht •■!'
the Assembly to impose this tax, was crippliutr the jm.w. rs
of the ProN-ince to resist the hostile French and Imliiiii.-. At
the same time he was one of the j'rovincial (^;nlnn^si(>n(.■:■-.
who constituted a sort of war council and cunirnittic <.f
defence for the Province, and he is said for a time to hav.-
held a commission as an oflicer in the militia. In IT';.'),
the year of the "Stamp Act," Dr. Cadwaladcr was, with
his sons John and Lambert, among the signers of the
♦' Is on-Importation Articles,"^ and as the struggle for inde-
pendence approached and culminated he and all his con-
nections by blood and by marriage were among those mor-t
active and influential in the councils and the deeds of the
Revolution. To the end of his life his whole elibrt and
influence was given to the cause of liberty, witliout exees.-*
or rancor, and free from any of those extravagances of zeal
which occasionally marred the aspect of the patriotism of
some of our forefathers.

Such being the chief public performances of Dr. Thomas
Cadwalader as a citizen and a patriot, it is interesting to
note that they were fully matched by his accomplishments
and distinctions as a man of science and a physician.

The Philadelphia Medical Society, founded February 4,
1765, was the oldest medical society in this country which
did not disband or terminate, leaving no trace behiml. Its
separate existence ceased only when it united with the
American Society held at Philadelphia for Promoting T.-e-
fiil Knowledge, which afterwards united with the Ameriean
Philosophical Society and continues to this day. Of thi.i
society Dr. Cadwalader w^as one of the original members. *

> Scharf and ^Vestcott. History of Pbihadelphia. PLiladolplii.i,
1884, vol. i. pp. 272, 273.

* Another Pliiladelphia Medical Society was founded in 17S9 and
incorporated June 2, 1792, and again (reincorporated) January 27,
1827, The Act of Incorporation and By-Laws of the Philadelphia
Medical Society-. Philadelphia, 1824. The Charter of Incorporation
and By-Laws of the Philadelphia Medical Society. Phihuklphia, 1>.">J.

276 Sketch of the. IJfc. of Dr. Thomas didwaladcr.

Oil Janiuiry 10, 17t)8, he was elected a member ot the
Americ;tii I'liilosophical Society/ and on October 14, 1768,
he was elected a member of the American Society held at
Philadelphia for Promoting Useful Knowledge ;- and on
January 2, 1700, when the;^.c societies were united, he was
the first-named of the three Yice-Pvesidcnts then chosen,
Benjamin Franklin being President. As Franklin was at
that time in Euruite, this made Dr. Cadwaladcr practically

Dr. Cadwalader's professional services during the War of
the Revolution seem to have been restricted to the occa-
sional performance of duties laid upon him by Congress
and assisting his friend and junior, Dr. Morgan, who was
at that time Director-General of the military hospitals. It
is supposed that Dr. Cadwalader had from him some
appointment, but I cannot lind any satisfactory evidence of
this. It is certain that Congress from time to time requested
him to do for it certain things, among which requests was
one on January 30, 1776, that he inquire into the state
of health of General Prescott, a British prisoner, and the
sanitary conditions in which he was placed in the jail.
This duty Dr. Cadwalader performed so promptly and with
such judgment and humanity that General Prescott un-
doubtedly owed his life to him. Being paroled on April 9,
he carried with him so great an appreciation of the services
of Dr. Cadwalader, and so high a regard for him as a man,
that when his son, Colonel Lambert Cadwalader, was taken
prisoner at the capture of Fort Washington, in November
of the same year. General Prescott secured his prompt

The records of Congress show that Dr. Cadwalader was
often called upon to give his country the benefit of the skill

^ Early Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society . . . from
1744 to 1838. Philadelphia, 1884, pp. 4, 23.

* Rules and Statutes of The American Society held at Philadelphia
for Promoting Useful Knowledge, together with a list of The Fellows and
Corresponding Members. Autotype copy iu the Library of the His-
torical Society of Pennsylvania.

S/<e!,-h of the Life of Dr. Thomas Gidicaladcr. 277

mid jiulirineiit which had so miicli secured its confidence.
Such aid he also funiislied to his younger colleagues who
were active in the organization of the medical service of
the army and navy of the Colonies, he being now about
seventy years old.

Before the foundation of the medical school connected
■sA-ith the College of Philadelphia, an excellent sort of medi-
cal instruction was furnished in Philadelphia by the teach-
ings of the medical staff of the Pennsylvania Hospital, of
which Dr. Cadwalader was one of the most active mon-
bers, and a certificate from the stafi* of this hospital in that
day took the place of a medical diploma for those who
wished a proof of unusual proficiency in the art of medi-
cine. After the founding of the college, as is well known,
the teachings in the hospital were continued, and attend-
ance upon them was in 17G7 made obligatory upon candi-
dates for a degree.

On November 14, 1779, Dr. Cadwalader died at the
Greenwood mansion at Trenton, while on a A'isit to his son
Lambert, and was there buried.^

Had the custom of publishing memoirs of distinguished
men been as well established then as it is now, we should
to-day be in a better position to appreciate the remarkable
qualities and the achievements of Dr. Thomas Cadwalader;
but enough can be gathered from what has been recorded,
as it were incidentally, to show that he failed of nothing
that high character, good judgment, and wise behavior
might secure. So long, so useful, and so honored had been
his life that those words appear peculiarly appropriate in
which Dr. John Redman, first President of the College of
Physicians of Philadelphia, and a good judge of fine char-
acter, referred to him in his inaugural address. " This re-
minds me," he says, " of tw^o things which I cannot recollect
but with concern, and indeed I ought to regret. The first

* Wickes. Quoting New Jersey Gazetteer, November 17, 1779.
Pennsylvania Gazette, November 24, 1779, p. 3.

In New Jersey Archives, 1st series, vol. xi., the date is erroneously
given as November 18.

278 Sketch of the Life of Dr. Thomas Cadirala^Jer.

of them is that tliis institution did not coninicnce at an
earlier period, and in the lifetime of one whose person, age,
charaeter, and reputation for medical abilities and respect-
able deportment to and among us, as well as his generous,
just, and benevolent temper of mind, and great acquaintance
with books, men, and things, and proper attention to times
and seasons, would, I am persuaded, have pointed him out
as our first object. And it vrould have been the highest
gratification to me, as I believe it would to you all who
knew him, to have given our sutTrages unanimously to place
him at the head of such an institution. Having said this
much, I am sure his name will readily recur to you all ; nor
need I mention it, but that I always recollect with pleasure
the name of our worthy and well-respected elder brother
and my much esteemed friend. Dr. Thomas Cadwalader,
though it is now but a melancholy pleasure when joined
with the reflection on the loss we sustained by his death.'' ^

Such a man was Thomas Cadwalader, from the beginning
to the end of his career, loved and honored by young and
old, serene in disposition, calm in deportment, wise in judg-
ment, fearless in action, the trusted counsellor of the repre-
sentative of the Proprietaries- and equally of the people, en-
gaged with the best and greatest men of his time in every
public movement for the good of his fellows, and in our Uni-
versity, in the earliest and most important period of its
career, for nearly thirty years one of its wisest and truest

Such a life is well titted to prove in a sceptical age that
a noble character is immortal and good deeds are imperish-
able. For us, to the useful and inspiring lessons of Thomas
Cadwalader's life is added the animatincc thouccht that he
was of our country, of our city, of our alma mater, of our
profession, and that no trappings of war are needed to
make a hero, nor any sound of trumpet to establish fame.

* Transactions of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Cen-
tennial Volume, Philadelphia, 1887. Appendix, p. 180.

'The word "Proprietary" was not used, but "Proprietor," on the
seal of William Penn and in the earliest provincial papers.

Tiinitii Church, OrforJ, PhUaddplda. 270



In 1885 the Tieverend Dr. Buchanan pubh.>he(] " Two
Discourses relating to the Early History of Trinity Cliurcli,
Oxford, Philadelphia, with a Compend of its History he-
tween 1854 and 1882." This is an excellent piece of work,
and it might be supposed to make my present attempt
Bujierfluons. I am impressed with Dr. Buchanan's thor-
oughness as I examine his authorities, but the audieiu-o
which T have the honor to address ditlers from his ;iu(lien''L-s,
and a varied use of the materials and varied emphasis mav
not be out of place. The letters I quote are almost all to
be- found in Bishop Perry's great work, " Historical Collec-
tions relating to the American Colonial Church."

The first Episcopal church in this State — Christ Church.
Philadelphia — was founded in 1695. Li 1702 George Keith,
the first missionary of the Society for the Propagation of
the Gospel in Foreign Parts, returned to America, and
here a little over two years. His journal of travels forms
his report to the Society, published in 1706. Li it he says, —

" In Pennsylvania where there was but one Church of Enghiud con-
gregation settled, to wit at Philadelphia (and even that of but few years
standing) at our arrival there, there are now, Blessed be God, five
Clmrch of England Congregations, supplied with minister?, and who
have convenient Churches, where the people assemble constandy, everj-
Lord's Day, to the prayers and scrnions, and where the Holy Sacra-
ments are duly administered according to the Church of England. The
places in Pennsylvania where these churches are set up are, the hrst
Philadelphia, the second Chester Upland, the third Francjort alia.s Ox-
ford, the fourth Nev: QiHtle, the fifth Apoquimene . . . the place at
Francfort , . . where the congregation assembles on the I-ord's Day i.s
called Trinity Chapel, it was formerly a Quaker Meeting IIouso, built

^ An address delivered before the Colonial Dames of America on
May 11, 1903, in the parLsh building.

280 lYmiiy Church, Oxford, Philadelfhia.

or fitted by Quakers, but some time ago it has been given to the Church
by such as had the right to it. Some land adjoining was given bv a
person well affected to the Church, for the use of the Minister who
should reside there, for a house, garden and small orchard."

From these extracts it will be observed that Keith, who
had lived in Philadelphia from 16S9 to 1694, who, no doubt,
corresponded ^^•ith liis numerous followers here between
1694 and 1702, and must have been well informed as to
what was going on here in the interests of religion, asserts
that only after his return in 1702 was there a settled
Church of England congregation at Oxford. Yet there
can be little doubt that ser\'ices were held here before 1702.
In 1707 the Reverend Evan Evans, who was minister to
Christ Church, with some interruptions, from 1700 to 1718,
writes to the same Society', —

'• Trinity Church in Oxford township, lies in the County of Philadel-
phia nine miles from the City, where for the first four years after my
arrival in Philadelphia I frequently preached and administered both the
Sacraments, and had, when I last preached in it, 140 people, most of
the people brought over to the Church of England from Quakers, Ana-
baptists, and other persuasions."

Hence Dr. Buchanan infers that the beginning of the
parish dates from 1698, or earlier, because he thinks Mr.
Evans speaks as if he had found a church and congregation
here in 1700, and the only Church clergyman who is known
to have been in Pennsylvania before 1700 was the first
minister of Christ Church, the Reverend Mr. Clayton, who
died in 1698. But, AN^ith deference to Dr. Buchanan, I sug-
gest that, even if we must conclude that church services
were held here before the time of Evans, of whicb there is
no direct evidence, they may have been conducted at any
time after 1697 by Mr. Rudnian, the Swedish missionary,
who was afterwards regularly employed here.

At all events, in spite of Keith's language, and in spite
of a clearly inaccurate statement to be found in Watson's
Annals (vol. ii. p. 73, edition of 1844), we may regard

. :'r Trinitij Church, Oxford. PlilhuUlphui. 281

tho year 1700 as the latest possible Jute of the toniiation
of iiie parish, because Mr, Evans's direct testimony is con-
firnictl by a deed, among the title papers of the cliurcli.
dated December 30, 1700, from Thomas Graves to Joshua
Carpenter and John Moore, for three acres of ground now
embraced in the graveyard and the lot adjoining, in trust,
for the "Use and service of those of the ConiTnunion of our
Holy mother, the Cliurch of England, and to no other use
or uses whatsoever." By Joshua Carpenter Keith was en-
tertained ou his missionary visits to Philadelphia, and Keith
speaks oi preaching twice at Oxford.

It may seem strange that it cannot be stated in exactly
what year the original place of worship was built, and wlien,
precisely, the building passed under the control of church-
men, whether in 1700 or a few years earlier; but the ol>-
gcurily of the first five years of Christ Church is almost
as deep. We must remember that, throughout nearly the
wliole of the colonial period, the Anglican churches in
Pennsylvania were missions. A charter was granted to the
United Churches of Christ Church and St. Peter's Church
in 1765, but the charter for incorporating the United Epis-
copal Churches of Trinity Church in Oxford Township, All
Saints Church in Lower Dublin Township, Philadelphia
County, and St. Thomas's Church in ^^Hiite ^Slarsh Town-
ship, Montgomery County, was not granted by the Legis-
lature of the State of Pennsylvania till 1787. These mis-
sions were voluntary associations, not recognized by the law.
They could hold no property. Property designed for them
had to be conveyed to trustees for their use. The members
of the congregations elected vestrymen and wardens, Irat
the association, as such, could neither sue nor be sued,
enjoy any rights nor incur any obligations. Tlie vestrymen
often }»etitioned the Bishop of London to license such and
such a clergyman for the care of their parish, and the
person so licensed was nominally responsible to the Bishop
of London, who, as a rule, knew little about him. It can,
then, be understood that these informal associations of per-

2S2 Triivty Church, Oxford, Fhihulclphia.

Bons desiriiio: to worship according to tlie Anglican doctrine
and discipline in many cases attracted little inil)lic attention.
Tiiere were no charters to be recorded ; minutes were kept
carelessly or not at all, because the occasions of their neces-
sity must have l)een few.

Until the Ke volution most of flie churches in Pennsyl-
vania received aid, generall}- £G0 a year, from the Society
for the Pro}»agation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, char-
tered iu 1701, and to-day aiding missionaries and chaplains
in every c^uarter of the globe. The deep obligations of the
Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States to the
Venerable Society (as it was styled from the lirst) are gen-
erally acknowledged; but there are two men who should
be remembered by all who study the history of that Church
in Pennsylvania. These men were Henry Compton, Bishop
of London from 1675 to 1713, and George Keith, whose
journal I have quoted. In 1675 Bishop Compton found
that in the American Colonies, exclusive of Virginia and
Maryland, where the Cliurch of England was established
by law, there were scarcely four ministers of the Church ot
England, "and not above one or two of them, at most,
regularly sent over." lie prevailed upon King Charles II.
to make an allowance of £20 to every missionary whom he
should send out, and he is known to have been the author
of Section 22 of the charter given to Penn, Proprietary
and Governor of the Province of Pennsylvania, March 4,
1681.. This section provides, —

"That if any of the inhabitants of the said province to the number
of twenty, shall at any time hereafter be desirous, and shall by any
writing, or by any person deputed by them, signify their desire to the
Bishop of London, for the time being that any preacher or preachers to
be approved by the said Bishop may be sent unto them for their instruc-
tion, that then such preacher or preachers shall and may reside within
the said province, without any denial or molestation, whatsoever."

And it is pleasant to note that Penn's relations with the
Bishop were friendly. In a letter to the Lords of Planta-
tions, dated Philadelphia, 14th of 6th month, 1683, Penn

Trinity Chm-'-h, Orford, Ploladdphia. 28:^5

wrote, ''I have followed the Bishop of Londou's c-ounsel Ity
buying and not taking away the natives' lands." Yet the
Bisliop had l)egun life as a soldier. In 1700 he sent l^ans
to Philadelpliia ; in 1701 took an active part in the orir:'-ni-
zation of the Society, and was always a friend of Ameri'/au
missions. And Get^rge Keith should neither be fori;!. u cm
nor rated as he lias been rated by most American writer.-.
Proud, the historian of Pennsylvania, wrote of him seventy-
five years after the events: "his conduct was so glaringly
inconsistent with his former pretensions, and his behaviour
towards the Quakers so manifestly arising from a malignant
disposition of mind and disappointed malice, notwith^ta!ld-
ing all liis superior abilities which he possessed and made u.-e
of, he was universally despised by sober and thinking people
of all Societies." Keith was no doubt heartily disliked by
the Quakers from whom he separated, and Proud gives us
the opinion handed down through two or three generations
of Quakers, the tradition, as it seems to me, becoming legen-
dary. And I think this traditional estimate of Keith has
been adopted by writers, sucli as Bancroft, without consider-
ation and without justice.

Keith was born in 1G39, near Aberdeen, wliere he was
educated and became a good classical and mathematical
scholar. lie was brought up a Presbyterian, and became a
Quaker in 1662. He was then twenty-three. Between that
time and 1684, when he came to Xew York, he wandered
about Scotland, England, and the Continent, and was im-
prisoned five or six times, sometimes for months together,
for preaching his religion. In 1689 he became the frst
principal of the Friends' public school in Philadelphia, wiiich
later received a charter from Penn, and still flourishes ;
but he held this place only about a year, and in 1691 denied
some of the Quaker doctrines. It would be impossible for
me even to sketch the religious controversy that arose, or
to attempt to write the history of the schism which soon
occurred among the Quakers, It is enough to say that
many turned away ^^^th Keith from the old Society of


Trinity Church, Oxford, mHachlphia.

Friends, and some of the Iveithians went to the Church
of England and some to the Baptists and Presbyterians
Xeith went back to Enghmd. In 1700 he took Jrders in
the Church. In 1702, as I have stated, he came to America
as one of the first pair of missionaries for tlie new-formed
Society, and travelled hard in mission work for more than
two years. His companion was the Reverend John Talbot
afterwards settled at Burlington. His journal, to which I
have referred, gives me the impression of a particularly
zealous and sincere man ; I have never heard his statements
of facts questioned, and there can be no question that his
labors greatly increased the number of adherents to the
English Church. His history in Europe, as a Quaker,
proves his undaunted courage; his abandonment of the
chief doctrines of Quakerism, in Philadelphia, resulted, as he
must have expected, in the loss of his place and prospects.
"When he took English orders he was sixty-one, and yet he
was eager to endure the hardships of a missionarv journey
to America in the interest of what he then regarded as the
purest form of religion. The following extract from his
journal may help us to see, how^ever, that his society mi^ht
be unpleasant : *

"August 30th, 1702._As we were crossing the Ferrv at Portsmouth
on Ehode Island, by the good Providence of God we escaped a great
danger . . . our mast and sail were beat down by the wind . . ! for
some time we remained there much tossed by the waves ... and were
in danger to be driven out to sea and overwhelmed. ... But a Quaker
of my former acquaintance whose name is John Burden . . . came
with all speed in his boat to relieve us, and towed us to land. ... I

Online LibraryJohn Collins WarrenGenealogy of Warren, with some historical sketches → online text (page 21 of 39)