History Stories

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.

William Irvine (1741-1804), Brigadier General, U.S. Congressman

William Irvine (1741-1804) graduated from Dublin University, became a physician, and served as a surgeon in the British Navy before immigrating to Pennsylvania in 1763. He resumed practicing medicine and was a Delegate to Pennsylvania’s anti-Stamp Act conventions in 1764 and 1766. Irvine also took part in Pennsylvania’s conventions held to consider independence in 1774 and 1775.

Jacob Jackson: A Navy Man In The War Of 1812

By Michael Schreiber and Amy Grant

Jacob Jackson, whose body rests near those of his wife Catharine (also spelled Catherine) and several of their children, was a U.S. Navy veteran of the War of 1812. He was an active supporter of Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church, elected as a member of the vestry in 1842.

Jenny Lind

By Michael Schreiber

Jenny Lind was the first international superstar of the musical world. The frenzy over her visit to the United States in 1850 even surpassed that of the “British Invasion” of the Beatles a century later. Yet those who met the “Swedish Nightingale” described her as being incredibly modest and generous. She gave large sums of money to charities and the poor, and regularly gave free concerts at Swedish churches in America—including one at Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’ Church) in Queen Village.