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The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Joseph Galloway, member of the Congress of 1774." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47db-9210-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99


Photo credit:

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Joseph Galloway, member of the Congress of 1774." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47db-9210-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

Joseph Galloway

Born: December, 1730, West River, Anne Arundel County, MD.  Died: August 29, 1803, Watford, Hertfordshire, England.  Member of the Colonial Assembly: Philadelphia County, 1756-1763, 1765-1769; Bucks County: 1770-1774.  Affiliation: Quaker, Anti-Proprietary.

Joseph Galloway was born in West River, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, in December of 1730.  He apprenticed with attorney and Pennsylvania Colonial Assembly Speaker John Kinsey, and by 1749 he was actively practicing law in Philadelphia.  In 1753 he married the former Grace Growdon, and the couple had 4 children together; however, only their daughter Elizabeth lived passed infancy.  The Growdon family was wealthy, and upon his father-in-law’s passing in 1770, Galloway and his wife received a substantial inheritance. 

In 1756 Galloway was elected to his first of 18 terms in the Colonial Assembly.  Galloway was an active member of the Legislature, and before becoming Speaker, he drafted 46 bills which became law.  In his early years in the Assembly, he worked on a number of defense-related measures, including a bill to institute military discipline in the Provincial Army, a bill to allow the Governor greater control over Pennsylvania’s troop movements, and a bill to send money to the King in order to raise troops in order to defend Pennsylvania’s borders.  In 1764 Galloway had partnered with Benjamin Franklin to petition the King of England to suspend the Penn family proprietorship to establish Pennsylvania as a royal colony.  Franklin and Galloway’s hardline anti-propriety stance led to their electoral defeat for the 1764 term.   

Galloway narrowly won election for the 1765 term in the Assembly, and in 1766 was not only re-elected, but was also elected the 27th Speaker of the Assembly on October 14, 1766.  He was re-elected Speaker on October 14, 1767 and October 14, 1768.  During Galloway’s time as Speaker he communicated regularly with Franklin about ending the Penn family proprietorship in Pennsylvania.  Franklin was serving as Assistant Provincial Agent in London at the time, and his service in London led him to change his mind and believe in the cause of independence for the colony, while Galloway remained loyal to the crown.  Galloway resigned the Speakership due to ill health, on May 22 1769, but was re-elected Speaker on October 14 of the same year and continued to serve in that capacity until 1774.  Speaker Galloway was chosen by the Assembly to represent Pennsylvania at the First Continental Congress in 1774 and used the opportunity to press against calls for independence for Pennsylvania. 

Galloway was returned to the Assembly for the 1774 term but refused the Speakership due to his declining health.  His desire for royal control of Pennsylvania was rejected by the Continental Congress, and his resignation as a delegate was accepted by the Assembly on May 12, 1775.  Galloway retired from public service in 1775, citing his poor health, but returned to the political sphere during the American Revolution by supplying information and intelligence to the British Army.  On December 4, 1777, he was appointed Superintendent General of Philadelphia, which was then occupied by the British, by British General Sir William Howe.  Galloway and his daughter sailed to England in 1779 and never returned to America. 

Joseph Galloway died in exile on August 29, 1803, in Watford, Hertfordshire, England.  His burial location is unknown.