Category: Biographical Sketches

Wood Homes in Queen Village

Clapboard, frame, or “stick” houses, which used wood for exterior siding, were built in abundance by early Colonial settlers. Here are stories behind a few wonderful wood homes in Queen Village.

Commentary on the Will of Mary Houlton (1730-1811)

Richard Major provides commentary on the will of Mary Houlton (1730-1811), a “maiden” of the City of Philadelphia.

Captain Gustavus Conyngham, USN, King George III’s Worst Nightmare

This daring Errol-Flynn-type character terrorized English ships, capturing more vessels than Commodore John Barry and Captain John Paul Jones combined.

James Thomas and his family

Amy Grant writes about James Thomas, an early settler in Philadelphia who owned several acres of land in Southwark.

Ignatius Beck

Ignatius “Nace” Beck was a common man forced by prejudiced state of affairs to uncommon levels of accomplishment and action.

Charles Toelpe (1835-1882)

Charles Toelpe was born in 1835 in Prussia and died 47 years later during an explosion in a sugar factory. Sadly, he had little time to enjoy the grand home that he had built for his family on Morris Street.

Isaiah Zagar

After moving to Philadelphia from the suburbs in 2008, Jim Murphy was fascinated by the colorful, shimmering mosaics he found on Gaskill, Leithgow, and South Streets.

Paul LaBrousse, an Early Winemaker in Southwark

In Southwark, Paul LaBrousse set up a vineyard on the former Bankson family plantation, located “between Second and Third Streets, near Mr. Crousillat’s [Crosby’s] tavern.”

Stephen Carmick

Stephen Carmick (1718-1774)

Near the end of his life, Stephen Carmick owned a large plantation in Southwark, a small portion of which later became Morris Street.

Who is John Barry?

Commodore John Barry played an extraordinary role in our country’s history. Without his heroism and leadership, we might well be swearing allegiance today to the Queen of England.

The Bankson Scandal of 1767

Amy Grant writes a public scandal involving Andrew Bankson and the Swedish Church in Philadelphia in 1767.

Andrew Bankson (1640-1705)

Amy Grant writes about Andrew Bankson (1640-1705), an early Swedish settler and landowner in Southwark.