The Historic Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Preservation Corporation (HGDPC) was established to fund, support, and supervise the restoration, renovation, and ongoing maintenance of the Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church buildings, grounds, and graveyard so that future generations may share in this historic and architectural treasure.

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Recent Blog Posts

March 8, 2017 |

John Douglass

Ship Captain (1747—July 8, 1840) Buried at Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Captain Douglass was born in 1747. Soon after the Battle of Lexington he began his military service. On June 3, 1776, the Continental Congress resolved “that a flying camp be immediately established in the middle colonies.” The definition of the Flying Camp Battalion is a Reservist or a Home Guard. Their duties were to serve and protect citizens of the state in case of an invasion. They acted like a police force guarding barracks and government buildings. For its part, Pennsylvania was called upon to provide a force of some 6,000 men. Delegations of one officer and two enlisted men from each of...

March 8, 2017 |

Amandus Johnson

Swedish-American Scholar (1877–1974) Buried at Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) In 1908, Johnson was one of the co-founders of the Swedish Colonial Society, whose members traced their ancestry to the pre Revolutionary War Swedish colonists. Johnson served as instructor and later assistant professor of Scandinavian Languages at the University of Pennsylvania from 1910 to 1921. After serving as President of the Historical Section of the American Division of the Gothenburg Exhibition in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1921 Johnson accepted the post of Director of the African Educational Expedition to Angola, during 1922-1924. In the years after the expedition, Johnson published a Kimbundu English Portuguese dictionary and a narrative about his travels. Starting in 1926, Johnson was...

March 8, 2017 |

Gustavus Hesselius

Swedish born painter (1682 – May 25, 1755) Buried at Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) The leading artist in the mid-Atlantic colonies during the first half of the eighteenth century, in 1712 he arrived in Philadelphia as a trained artist. For several years after 1719 or 1720, he lived in Maryland but then returned permanently to Philadelphia. In addition to portraits, his chief subjects, he is known to have painted religious scenes, which number among the earliest colonial examples. Similarly, his two surviving mythological subjects may have been the earliest classical works executed in North America. Born in Falun, Sweden, Hesselius lived in also Folkarna and Uppsala before spending several months in London on his...

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