Old map of Central America, 1870

A Story From The Grave: Catharine, Wife Of Sea Captain Peter Cruse

The inscription on Catharine Cruses’s gravestone leaves a message for her “dearest man.” This message in stone might reflect the final words that Catharine would have liked to say to her husband if he had been with her at the end.

James Peale

James Peale, Artist (1749-1831)

Best known as a portrait miniaturist and fruit still-life painter, James Peale (1749-1831) also made oil portraits, history paintings, and landscapes. The total number of landscape paintings he created remains undetermined, but he executed more than two hundred watercolor miniatures on ivory, perhaps one hundred still-life paintings, fewer than seventy oil portraits, and at least eight history paintings.

Neills Laickan (1666-1721)

Nils Lycon died at ‘Pour Island’ on December 4, 1721 at the age of 55, survived by his wife and six daughters.*

On January 12, 1691. ‘Nicholas Nellson’ asked the Board of Property to replace his meadow north of Philadelphia because it was being drowned by a new mill. Otherwise, however, he was known as Nils Lycon (by its many spellings), the eldest son of Peter Nilsson Lycon. He lived on a tract adjoining Shackamaxon known as ‘Poor Island,’ granted to his father in 1680, surveyed in 1683, and conveyed to him before his father’s death.

Captain Joseph Blewer (1734–1789)

Rev. Carl Magnus Wrangel married Joseph Blewer and Sarah Lindenmeyer at Gloria Dei Church on September 26, 1759.

Joseph Blewer being a ship captain assumed an active role in the War of Independence. In November 1775 Captain Blewer was in Cambridge, Massachusetts and was directed by General George Washington to deliver a letter to John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress. In June 1776 Benjamin Franklin and others including Captain Blewer met at Carpenter’s Hall creating the Committee of the City, Council of Safety.

Reverend John Craig Roak (1898-1989)

John Craig Roak served as Gloria Dei’s rector from 1933 to 1972. Reverend Roak guided his congregation through the end of the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War and all but the very end of the United States’ involvement in Viet Nam. Social changes during his tenure at Gloria Dei included the Great Migration of African Americans from the South, the Civil Rights Movement, the rekindled Women’s Movement that began in the 1960’s, President Lyndon Johnson’s experiment with the Great Society, and increasing immigration from “new” parts of the world, especially Southeastern Asia and Latin America.

Reverend Snyder Binns Simes (1842-1915)

Snyder Binns Simes was Gloria Dei’s pastor longer than any other, serving from 1868 to 1915. Tremendous changes came to the church and its congregation through the effects of the great industrial and economic development of the United States and the Philadelphia region, massive immigration to the United states from southern and eastern Europe, and a long economic depression at the end of the 19th century.

Captain Lodge Colton, Master’s Mate (1837–1913)

Being a riverfront Church, Gloria Dei has a rich history that involves many people who were involved with maritime related occupations. Captain Lodge Colton was no exception. At the age of 14 he became a mariner on the clipper barque “James Cornor.” (sp. Corner?) He served the CSN being appointed in Baltimore, Maryland. Lodge Colton was a Master’s Mate on the CSS Rappahannch in 1864 and the CSS Shanandoah in 1865. The CSS Shanandoah crossed the equator four times. On April 16, 1868 he was married in Baltimore to Marian Watts. The next year they moved to Philadelphia. Although his service took him to ports of call around the world, they maintained sittings at Gloria Dei from 1870 on. In 1874 they settled in New Orleans. Captain Colton’s ship sailed between New Orleans and Havana, Cuba. In 1880 he became a captain in the Ward Line, making voyages between New York, Cuba, and Mexico. He moved to New York and became a senior captain in 1887.