Cadwalader Evans, PA House Speaker

Cadwalader Evans (1762-1841) was the 4th Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1799-1799.

Cadwalader Evans (1762-1841)

Cadwalader was the fourth generation of the Evans family who first settled in Gwynedd in 1698. His great-grandfather Cadwalader, the youngest of the 4 Evans brothers, was given a farm of 609 acres. The farm was called "Gwynedd Hall."


Fun Fact #1: Cadwalader was the nephew of Dr. Cadwalader Evans, a friend to Benjamin Franklin.


The farm was past on until Cadwalader was given the farm He lived there for half the century until he moved to Philadelphia in 1812.


During his career he was a surveyor, and was responsible for surveying most of the western part of Pennsylvania. He was also a businessman, and became director of the Bank of the United States.


Fun Fact #2: "He was a shareholder in the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, an eminent private lending library in the city."


He then went into politics to represent Montgomery County as a Federalist in 1790 in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He was reelected 8 more terms, and during those terms, he was unanimously elected at the 4th Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1798.


Fun Fact #3: In 1792, he was appointed to be one of the several commissioners of Philadelphia to Lancaster "Artificial Road," the first extensive turnpike completed in the United States.


After moving to Philadelphia, he was reelected in the 1814-1815 and 1829-1830 terms.


After serving in public office, he became the first president of the Schuylkill Navigation Company, which was responsible for the construction of the Schuylkill Canal.

Montgomery County 1877, Gwynedd, North Wales, Ambler, Royer's Ford, Limerick Station; J. D. Scott, Publisher; Gwynedd Hall, and the former residence of Cadwalader Evans
The Evans Family Tree

Fun Fact #4: Cadwalader was mentioned in Thomas Jefferson's letter from January 24th, 1800:

"Mr. Smith, a merchant of Hamburg, gives me the following information: The St. Andrew's Club of New York, (all of Scotch tories,) gave a public dinner lately. Among other guests, Alexander Hamilton was one. After dinner, the first toast was, 'The President of the United States.' It was drank without any particular approbation. The next was, 'George the Third.' Hamilton started up on his feet, and insisted on a bumper and three cheers. The whole company accordingly rose and gave the cheers. One of them, though a federalist, was so disgusted at the partiality shown by Hamilton to a foreign sovereign over his own President, that he mentioned it to a Mr. Schwarthouse [Swartwout], an American merchant of New York, who mentioned it to Smith.
Mr. Smith also tells me, that calling one evening on Mr. Evans, then Speaker of the House of Representatives of Pennsylvania, and asking the news, Evans said, Harper had been just there, and speaking of the President's setting out to Braintree, said, 'he prayed to God that his horses might run away with him, or some other accident happen to break his neck before he reached Braintree.' This was indignation at his having named Murray, &c., to negotiate with France. Evans approved of the wish."

- Thomas Jefferson, January 24th, 1800

Bibliography


"Cadwalader Evans." Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Accessed March 23, 2021. https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/SpeakerBios/SpeakerBio.cfm?id=86.


"CHAPTER 3: The Revolution, Nationhood and Rapid Development, 1775-1801." Independence Historic Resource Study. Last Modified May 5, 2004. https://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/inde/hrs/hrs3a.htm.


Randolph, Thomas Jefferson. Memoirs, Correspondence and Private Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Late President of the United States, Vol. 4. (London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, 1829): 524-525.


Wainwright, Nicholas B. "Gwynedd Hall." The Bulletin of the Historical Society of Montgomery County 11, no. 1 (1957): 3-24. https://hsmcpa.org/images/thebulletin/1957vol11no1.pdf.


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