Old Chester, PA: Cemeteries

St. Paul's Burying Ground

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Text on the historical marker reads:

OLD SWEDISH BURIAL GROUND
Site of first St. Paul's Episcopal Church built in 1702.
The grave of John Morton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence,
is located just south of here.

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The cemetery, site of the first St. Paul's Episcopal church erected c. 1702, was deeded without cost to the City of Chester by the congregation of St. Paul's Episcopal Church on Monday April 22, 1957.  The city had requested a part of the property, valued then at $31,000, for the widening of both Third and Welsh streets.  The deeding action provided that the city maintain the property as a public park under such name as the church desires.  The ground is to be returned to the church, should it no longer be kept as a cemetery.

Among others, St. Paul's Burying Ground is the final resting place for:

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David & Grace Lloyd, First Chief Justice of Penn's Colony

Text of a flat marker at the Lloyd's grave:

David Lloyd and his wife Grace were buried in the Friends Burial Ground established in 1683 on Edgmont Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets.
The bodies were moved and reinterred in this cemetery on October 16, 1959.  The plaque and the headstones are placed here in their memory by the Delaware County Bar Association.

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John Morton, PA Signer of the Declaration of Independence

"One other monument standing in the old burial grounds of St. Paul’s demands attention. It consists of a plain shaft of marble, nine feet in height, its four sides facing precisely the four cardinal points of the compass. It is without any ornamental carving, except the coats of arms of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, encircled by a wreath of laurel. Here lies the body of one of our country’s patriot sons, and Revolutionary heroes, a native of our Commonwealth, and of the county of Delaware; the inscription on the west side of the memorial shaft, states that it is –

"Dedicated to the memory of
JOHN MORTON.
A Member of the first American Congress from the State of Pennsylvania, Assembled in New York, 1765, and of the next Congress Assembled in Philadelphia in 1774.
Born A. D. 1724 – Died April, 1777."

Upon the east side of the column is the following statement:

"In voting by States upon the question of the Independence of the American Colonies, there was a tie until the vote of Pennsylvania was given; two members of which voted in the affirmative, and two in the negative. The tie continued until the vote of the last member, John Morton, decided the promulgation of the glorious Diploma of American Freedom."

Upon the north face of the shaft will be found inscribed, that –

"John Morton being censured by some of his friends for his boldness in giving his casting vote for the Declaration of Independence, his prophetic spirit dictated from his death bed the following message to them: ‘Tell them they will live to see the hour when they shall acknowledge it to have been the most glorious service I ever rendered to my country.’"

And upon the south face of the stone are engraven the words:

"In 1775, while Speaker of the Assembly of Pennsylvania, John Morton was re-elected a Member of Congress, and in the ever memorable Session of July, 1776, he attended that august body for the last time, enshrining his name in the grateful remembrance of the American People by signing the Declaration of Independence."

 

Records for this cemetery can be accessed at:

Delaware County Historical Society
85 North Malin Road
Broomall, PA  19008-1928

Phone: 610-359-1148


2000, 2002 John A. Bullock III.
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This page last updated 02/22/07