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PHILADELPHIA IN 1732.
BY PETER S. DUPONCEAU.
HER population at that time is supposed to have amounted to about ten thousand inhabitants. The buildings parallel to the Delaware must have extended to Fourth street, and probably beyond it; history mentions a tavern situated at the corner of Third street at an earlier date. The northern parts of the town were chiefly inhabited by Germans. The streets were more or less filled with houses, which at that time occupied more ground than they do at present, many of them having large yards and gardens, as well as back buildings; for the fashion of having kitchens under ground had not yet been adopted: nor as the city advanced towards the west, were the buildings so compact as they are at present. Christ church existed as it now stands, except the steeple, of which the foundation only was laid. The Presbyterian church in High street, which was called Buttonwood, and was pulled down not many years ago, had existed nearly thirty years, as well as the Swedish church, which was of an older date,
and is still standing. The Friends had their meeting houses, but these were plain buildings which did not attract attention. They had also their lovely alms-house in Walnut street, still existing and reminding us of an eastern edifice by the garden in the middle of the area, surrounded with modest but comfortable dwellings. The old Court House in Market street, once called the Great Town House, now in the possession of the watchmen and clerks of the markets, had had more than twenty years' existence; and the prison, with a work-house annexed to it, was situated at the corner of Third and High streets, to which the markets then extended. The immortal State House was in a course of building, but was not finished until the year 1735. Meanwhlie, the legislature of the province held its sittings in private houses. Between the Schuylkill and the improved parts of the town, there were gentlemen's country seats, and tracts of woodland, some of which existed so late as 1777, when the British took possession of our city, and cut down all the trees to serve as fuel for themselves and their army.
Such was the external appearance of our noble city in the year 1732. Peace and concord reigned within it, under the mild and wise administration of Governor Gordon, who had succeeded Sir William Keith. Our illustrious founder had now been dead fourteen years, but his spirit had not forsaken us. His able and faithful secretary, Logan, still had considerable influence in the affairs of the government. The manners of the people were simple, their morals pure, and literature and science were held in deserved esteem. Men of genius already appeared whose names were destined to go to posterity.
Observe that young man whom you see walking along Second street, his eyes fixed upon the ground and his mind absorbed in contemplation His name is Anthony Bene