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House Speaker Biographies

Photo credit:

"Cadwalader Evans, 1762-1841." www.Ancestry.com


Photo credit:

"Cadwalader Evans, 1762-1841." www.Ancestry.com

 

Cadwalader Evans

Born: December 25, 1762, Gwynedd, Montgomery County, PA.  Died: October 26, 1841, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, PA.  Member of the House: Montgomery County, 1790-1799, 1802-1803, 1805-1806; Philadelphia City, 1814-1815, 1829-1830.  Affiliation: Federalist.

Cadwalader Evans was born on December 25, 1762, in Montgomery County.  Evans trained as a surveyor and was responsible for the surveying of much of western Pennsylvania.  In 1807 Evans married the former Harriet Verena Musser and the couple had 9 children: Julianna Doddridge, Margaret Eleanor, John Glendour, Rowland Edanis, Edmund, William Elbert, Cadwalader, Manlius Glendour, and Harriet Verena Ogden.

Evans was elected to represent Montgomery County as a Federalist to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 1790-1791 session.  He was re-elected for 8 more consecutive sessions, as well as re-elected to the House for the 1802-1803 and 1805-1806 sessions.  Evans was elected the 40th Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on December 5, 1798.  During his Speakership, the House began to meet in the Lancaster County Courthouse.

In 1811 Evans was appointed by the legislature to act as a member of a five-person commission tasked with making the Schuylkill River more traversable, namely by erecting a permanent bridge.  The following year, Evans became the first president of the Schuylkill Navigation Company, known for its construction of the Schuylkill Canal, which was completed in 1825 and facilitated the much-needed transport of coal.  In 1830, due to advancing age, he resigned the presidency.  From 1816-1821 and from 1823 until his death, he was a shareholder in the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, an eminent private lending library in the city.

After relocation to Philadelphia, Evans was re-elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, serving Philadelphia City, for the 1814-1815 and 1829-1830 sessions.

Cadwalader Evans died on October 26, 1841.  He is interred at Laurel Hill Cemetery in the city of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.