OF OLD PHILADELPHIA
AUTHOR OF “OLD ROADS OUT OF
JOINT AUTHOR OF “THE VIRGIN
ISLANDS: OUR NEW POSSESSIONS AND THE BRITISH ISLANDS”
FRONTISPIECE IN COLOR AND 100 ILLUSTRATIONS
FROM ORIGINAL SOURCES AND FROM
BY PHILIP B. WALLACE
BY J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY
AT THE WASHINGTON SQUARE PRESS
PHILADELPHIA, U. S. A.
OLD PHILADELPHIA REACHING OUT TO THE COUNTRY
(The first Schuylkill bridge, High Street, begun 1790, completed 1804, cost $275,000)
THERE is no romance like that of the
lives of those who, when duty calls, dare to venture in the dark, who are
content to lay the foundations on which others may build, who are brave enough
to endure present privation for the sake of future good, especially when they
realize that the good they hope for may not be seen, except in fleeting shadow,
by their own generation.
The emigrants who followed the explorers from Europe
to America, who struggled with pioneer conditions in the midst of savages,
who, though they knew from experience little of representative government, or
of freedom to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience, or
of education that was free to all, yet made their brave and successful effort
to build up government and church and schools, would have appreciated words
written centuries later by Robert Louis Stevenson, “Life is a thing to be
daringly used and cheerfully hazarded.”
Those words tell the truth
concerning the life of the pioneer, a life of toil, of sacrifice, of heroic
endurance, but to them, a life of real joy and to those who look back on it a
life of the richest romance.
We can realize more of the truth of
the statement as applied to the brave men and women of pioneer days than they
could possibly see for themselves. They knew that they were making a venture
into the unknown; we know now what that venture cost them.
They understood that they were
lining up with the trail blazers of history who have paved the way for a better
civilization, but the modern world’s appreciation of this fact is far beyond
anything that they could have. There were probably times when many of them
thought with a fine glow of the picturesqueness and glamour of a life that had
in it so much of conflict with hard reality, but it was not possible for them
to measure truly the relieving features of their daily struggles and triumphs.
It is given to us who can have the perspective
supplied by the lapse of decades and centuries to see the romance in the
determination to break with home and associations in the home land, to face the
stormy Atlantic, to carve out a new home in a country which had never known the
tread of civilized man, to build up a civilization that would, in many ways,
surpass any that other countries have ever had, to stand for liberty when that
stand would certainly involve all in fearful hardship and would just as
certainly lead many to death.
The study of the romantic element in
such pioneer struggles has an appeal that is universal; it is of absorbing
interest to every American who loves his country, whether it is based on the
experience of those who lived in New England, or those who settled in the
Southland, or those who made their homes on the shores of the Delaware or the
Because of the unique part played by
Philadelphia in the history of the nation, the appeal made by the records of
those who lived and labored, who loved and struggled there, has even more of
general interest than a similar study of the pioneers of many other portions of
the country. Not only was Philadelphia the city of the Declaration of
Independence, but it was the center for a long period of activity during the Revolution,
it was the city of the Constitution, it was the capital of the country during
ten of the formative years of the nation’s life, it was the home of Washington,
the place where he liked to be better than any other except his own beloved
These facts have been constantly in
the mind of the author in planning The Romance of Old Philadelphia. It has
been the effort to picture the romance of early American life.
Much of the material for the volume
has been gathered from manuscripts and genealogical records in the matchless
collection of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, from the files of the
Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, which is a vast treasure-house of curious and
interesting facts about the early history of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania,
and from other rare books, all found in the library of the Pennsylvania
Historical Society and on the shelves of the Library Company of Philadelphia
The author has resisted the
temptation to examine Watson’s Annals of Philadelphia, though realizing that he
was thus depriving himself of the use of a compilation that has been for many
years a source of inspiration and a mine of information to the students of
Grateful acknowledgment is made to
George W. Jacobs & Co., Philadelphia, publishers of “Historic Dress in
America” (copyright, 1903), and to the artist, Miss Sophie B. Steele, for
permission to copy the illustrations of Colonial dress reproduced on pages 137,
157 and 212; to Messrs. Ferris & Leach, Philadelphia, publishers of “The
Quaker” (copyright, 1901), for the use of the illustrations on pages 181, 202
and 213; to the Macmillan Company, New York, publishers of “Two Centuries of
Costume in America,” copyright, 1903, by Alice Morse Earle, for permission to
use the illustrations on pages 128, 136 and 231; to Miss Clara E. Graff, for
permission to use the photographs from “The Claypoole Family” (copyright,
1893), which are reproduced on pages 27 and 36; to Simon Castner, of
Philadelphia, who, from his priceless collection of prints of old Philadelphia,
lent the beautiful print from which the Frontispiece was made; to Ernest
Spofford, Assistant Librarian of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and
George Maurice Abbot, Librarian of the Library Company of Philadelphia, and the
courteous members of his staff; to Philip B. Wallace, photographer, 711 Walnut
Street, Philadelphia, who made the photographs reproduced in the volume; and to
E. S. Holloway, of J. B. Lippincott Company, whose skill and patience have
helped to give form to these records drawn from the history of Old
J. T. F. Philadelphia,
SUBLIME COURAGE OF THE PIONEERS — “NEITHER HOUSE
SHELTER” — A “TUNN OF GOODS”
— CAPTURED BY A PRIVATEER — A MARRIAGEABLE YOUNG
MAN — SELLING THEIR TIME TO PAY THEIR PASSAGE —
SQUALLS AND PRIVATEERS AND AN
UNEXPECTED DELIVERANCE — THE RAT AND THE WATERSPOUT
— FAMINE ON SHIPBOARD —
“THOSE WERE GREAT DAYS.”
THE HOUSE JAMES CLAYPOOLE WANTED — DEALING WITH CAVE HOUSES
THAT BECAME PUBLIC NUISANCES — THE GOODS PAID FOR THREE HUNDRED SQUARE MILES OF
LAND — PIONEER HARDSHIPS — A THIEF AND A CROWDED HOUSE — THE LUXURY OF WINDOW
PANES — WHAT WAS BOUGHT AT THE VENDUE DINNER — GIVING AND DINNER MANNERS — THE
WOES OF HOUSECLEANING.
WILLIAM PENN FAR IN ADVANCE OF HIS AGE — WHY THE TREES
OFFENDED — A BRUTAL SHIP CAPTAIN — PENNSYLVANIA’S ONLY WITCHCRAFT PROSECUTION —
HUMPHREY MORREY, FIRST MAYOR, AND THE BLUE ANCHOR WHARF — “TO PRISON HE MUST GO” — SHEEP RAISING IN THE PUBLIC SQUARE —
STUFFING THE BALLOT BOX IN 1705 — “BLACKBEARD’S” CHARMED LIFE — FORBIDDEN
AMUSEMENTS — THE ELECTION RIOT OF 1742 — AN UNWILLING MAYOR-ELECT.
WHALING AND WHALEMEN — HE WANTED HIS SHIP INSURED — STEPHEN GIRARD’S RISE TO POWER — A PHYSICIAN
WHO CURED ALL HIS PATIENTS — THE GOLDSMITH’S ACCOUNT — WHY BRYAN OHARA INCREASED HIS CHARGES —
DIFFICULTIES OF TRADE DURING THE REVOLUTION — ROBERT MORRIS IN FINANCIAL
DIFFICULTIES — HUMOR IN THE PRISON.
THE CHARMING WOMEN OF OLD PHILADELPHIA — JOSEPH SHIPPEN’S
TRIBUTE TO SOCIAL LEADERS — WHAT A YOUNG MAN REQUIRED OF HIS SISTER — A MOUSE
IN HER NIGHT CAP — WHY THE KISS WAS
DISAGREEABLE — RULES OF THE DANCE — THE
GOVERNOR’S PREDICAMENT — THE CEREMONY OF THE SPOON — THE JOYS OF SLEIGH-RIDING
AND SERENADING — A DINNER AT PRESIDENT WASHINGTON’S MANSION.
THE LIBERALITY OF THE POOR — “SOMETHING PRETTY” WANTED BY AN
ALMSHOUSE INMATE — NO HAYSTACKS ALLOWED IN MULBERRY STREET — CUT SILVER AND
GOOD — NATURED “PRETTY CREATURES” IN THE MARKETS — AN ENTHUSIAST IN DYES — THE
BEGINNINGS OF STREET PAVING — STEPHEN GIRARD TO THE RESCUE — SLAVERY AND
THE FIRST SCHOOLMASTER — WHY ISRAEL PEMBERTON WAS SORE — THE
ORIGIN OF THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA —
“NOT A DOVE, BUT A HAWK OR A FALCON” — LANTERN AND BELL, THE PENALTY FOR
TARDINESS — HAZING THE MASTER — SCHOOL
ORDINARY — DEAD ON HIS KNEES — HE TAUGHT SCHOOL IN GAOL — POOR TEN-YEAR-OLD
GEORGE! — THE DAWNING OF A BETTER DAY.
SUPERSTITION IN 1716 — THE LIFE OF A WOMAN WHO MINDS HER OWN
BUSINESS — BETWEEN NOSE AND CHIN — NOT
JOHN, BUT THE DEMIJOHN — TIME TO BURY WEST PHILADELPHIA — “MISS KITTY CUT-A-DASH” — ODE TO A MARKET
WHEN STEEPLES WERE SCARCE — TROUBLESOME CHAINS AND CANDLE
LIGHT — A PEW FOR PRESIDENT ADAMS — THE COMING OF GEORGE WHITEFIELD — THEY
WANTED HIM TO “CINDLE A DEAD COAL” — ALL THIS FOR $300 PER YEAR! — A BUSY
SEXTON — AN INVITATION TO A FUNERAL —
“PRANCING IT THROUGH THE STREETS.”
GIVING NOTICE IN A “PUBLICK PLACE” — WHY SALLY WAS SAD — SHE
DID NOT KEEP HER PROMISE — A BABY “OF THE WORST SEX” — AN ELOPEMENT AND ITS
PAINFUL SEQUEL — A PEEP AT A BRIDES
TROUSSEAU — SHE MARRIED A WIDOWER —
SOME HUMORS OF COLONIAL COURTSHIP — THE AWFUL PENALTY OF ATTRACTING MEN.
TWO POUNDS FOR CARRYING ONE LETTER — WHY PEGGY SHIPPEN
SIGHED — HOW PETER MUHLENBERG PLAYED PRODIGAL — THE CLEVER LADIES OF
PHILADELPHIA — A DUN FOR A DEER — PROVING A FISH STORY — CONGRESS A “MOST
RESPECTABLE BODY” — WRY FRANKLIN WAS SARCASTIC.
PROUD OF THIRTY CARTS — WHY THE CHAIR WAS DELAYED — A MAKESHIFT FOR SHEETS — THE LANDLADY WHOSE
EYES WERE “NONE OF THE PRETTIEST” — A VAIN FLIGHT FOR SAFETY — TO LONG BRANCH
UNDER DIFFICULTIES — SHE ONLY OVERSET “TWISTE” — THE STEAMBOAT A PHILADELPHIA
INVENTION — WHY THE EAGLE DID NOT BEAT THE PHOENIX.
THE DEATH OF TEA — HOMEMADE MUSKETS — “PROCLAIM
LIBERTY” — WHAT IT MEANT TO HAVE AN
INVADER IN THE CITY — HE WOULD NOT HAVE PENN’S COLONY AS A FREE GIFT — INFLATED
CURRENCY AND HIGH PRICES — TO MAKE LACE OUT OF CAMBRIC — THE BEGINNING OF THE
DAYBREAK — WHY FRANKLIN WAS NEEDED TO
“HOOP THE BARREL.”
A TREMENDOUS SOCIAL STRAIN — A SPECTACULAR FOURTH OF JULY —
WOES AT BUSH HILL — MARTHA WASHINGTON’S “CHICKEN FRYKECY” — PUMPS AND OPEN
HYDRANTS — THE FIRST BALLOON ASCENSION — WASHINGTON OUT AND ADAMS IN —
WASHINGTON AT LAST FINDS REST — A NEW CENTURY, A NEW CAPITAL, AND RENEWED YOUTH
OLD PHILADELPHIA REACHING OUT TO THE COUNTRY
TYPE OF WILLIAM PENN’S SHIP WELCOME
MARY CHAMBERS CLAYPOOLE
THE DUEL BETWEEN BLACKBEARD AND MAYNARD
THE HOME IN ENGLAND FROM WHICH JAMES CLAYPOOLE CAME
PENN’S TREATY WITH THE INDIANS
RECEIPT FOR PAYMENT FOR LAND, GIVEN BY THE
INDIANS TO THOMAS
AND RICHARD PENN
WILLIAM HUDSON’S CLOCK
WILLIAM PENN’S DESK AND BENJAMIN FRANKLIN’S CLOCK
AN ATTRACTIVE VIEW OF WHITBY HALL
WILLIAM PENN’S SILVER TEA SERVICE
THE OLD SIDEBOARD
A CORNER OF AN OLD DINING ROOM
DRAFT OF UPPER FERRY, SCHUYLKILL RIVER
PLAN OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA
THE SOUTHEAST PROSPECT OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA
SIR WILLIAM KEITH
HANNAH CALLOWHILL PENN
STAIRWAY AT 247 SOUTH SIXTH STREET
A BIT OF THE OLD LANTERN, CAMAC HOUSE, SOUTH THIRD
KRIDER’S GUN STORE
239 PINE STREET
CURRENCY OF THE PROVINCE OF PENNSYLVANIA, 1759
STEPHEN GIRARD AT HIS DESK
HIGH STREET MARKET
A BIT OF OLD PHILADELPHIA (CAMAC STREET,
“THE LITTLE STREET
THE QUAKER MEETING
MRS. ROBERT MORRIS
SOFT BROCADE GOWN, 1685
MARTHA WASHINGTON, WEARING THE CAP CALLED
“THE QUEEN’S NIGHT
BISHOP WILLIAM WHITE
PRESIDENT WASHINGTON’S COACH
DOCTOR BENJAMIN RUSH
A WEDDING GOWN, A GOWN OF 1760, A SUIT OF VELVET,
IN AN OLD KITCHEN
STATE HOUSE, WITH A VIEW OF CHESTNUT STREET
DILIGENT FIRE ENGINE
DAVID JAMES DOVE, SCHOOLMASTER
ROBERT PROUD, SCHOOLMASTER
GIRL’S RED STUFF GOWN, 1730; PRINT GOWN OF 1710;
DAMASK LINEN GOWN OF 1720; SUIT OF BLUE SILK, 1740;
BROWN VELVET SUIT OF 1760; BUFF PRINTED CAMBRIC DRESS,
1760; SHEER MUSLIN GOWN, ABOUT 1790; CLOAK,
MUFF AND HAT AFTER SIR JOSHUA
MUSLIN GOWN OF 1790
TIMOTHY MATLACK, SCHOOLMASTER
BENCH AND TABLE USED BY CHRISTOPHER DOCK, IN HIS
JAMES WILSON, TEACHER OF LATIN AND SIGNER
OF THE DECLARATION
THE CHILDREN OF THOMAS AND JULIANA PENN
SWEETBRIER, THE HOME OF SAMUEL BRECK
PROFILES CUT BY MAJOR ANDRÉ
WEATHER VANE AND SCARECROW AT CHAMPLOST
REV. GEORGE DUFFIELD, D.D.
CHAIN USED DURING SERVICE TO PROTECT OLD PINE
FROM STREET TRAFFIC
THE COMMUNION SERVICE WHICH QUEEN ANNE
PRESENTED TO CHRIST
ARCH STREET, WITH THE SECOND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
GLORIA DEI CHURCH
INTERIOR OF OLD ST. DAVID’S CHURCH
ORIGINAL GABLE WINDOW IN OLD PINE STREET CHURCH
INTERIOR OF ST. PETER’S PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH
THE QUAKER WEDDING
MARGARET (PEGGY) SHIPPEN
COLONIAL WEDDING GOWN; CRIMSON BROCADE OF 1752;
OVER SATIN HOOPED PETTICOAT; BACK
VIEW OF SAME
FOUR OLD-TIME PENNSYLVANIA
JOHN PEMBERTON, JAMES PEMBERTON, HENRY DRINKER,
WILLIAM HAMILTON OF “THE WOODLANDS” AND HIS NIECE
MRS. BENEDICT ARNOLD AND HER DAUGHTER
GENERAL CADWALADER, WIFE AND CHILD
MRS. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
IN OLD CLINTON STREET, BETWEEN NINTH AND TENTH,
STAGE COACH ADVERTISEMENTS
BRIDGE OVER THE PENNYPACK
MODEL OF JOHN FITCH’S STEAM ENGINE
PLAN OF JOHN FITCH’S STEAMBOAT
JOHN FITCH’S STEAMBOAT, 1786
ROBERT FULTON’S DOUBLE INCLINED PLANE FOR CANALS
TO THE DELAWARE PILOTS
IN MOURNING BECAUSE OF THE STAMP ACT
SARAH FRANKLIN BACHE
THE LIBERTY BELL
THE DESK OF THE DECLARATION
THE CONGRESS VOTING INDEPENDENCE
IN INDEPENDENCE HALL
LOOKING TOWARD THE LIBERTY BELL, INDEPENDENCE HALL
THE PLANTATION, PEMBERTON’S
TICKET FOR THE MESCHIANZA
MT. PLEASANT, EAST FRONT, THE HOME OF BENEDICT ARNOLD
AMERICAN UNIFORMS IN THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR
GEORGE WASHINGTON AT VALLEY FORGE
THE DECLARATION INKSTAND
SIGNING OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES
CONGRESS HALL AND THE NEW THEATRE
THE HOUSE INTENDED FOR THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
DOORWAY OF 244 SOUTH EIGHTH STREET
THE OLD PUMP AT THE CHEW HOUSE, GERMANTOWN
WILLIAM COBBETT, THE EDITOR OF “PETER PORCUPINE”
ROBERT MORRIS’S UNFINISHED HOUSE
The clock shown in cover design was owned by Thomas
and is now in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania
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Adams, Boston, 1841.
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