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05/07/2021 05:36 AM
Pennsylvania State Senate

Eli Kirk Price

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Source: Appletons' Cyclopaedia of American Biography, vol. 5. James Grant Wilson and John Fiske, eds., New York: D. Appleton & Company, 1888, p. 117.



Session Position District Party
1853 1 Whig
1855 1 Whig
 Counties   Philadelphia


1797 - 1884

PRICE, Eli Kirk, lawyer, b. in Bradford, Chester co., Pa., 20 July, 1797; d. in Philadelphia, Pa., 14 Nov., 1884. His ancestor, Philip, a Welsh Quaker, came to this country with William Penn, and settled on a tract of 1,000 acres in Montgomery county, Pa. Eli was educated in his native county, and entered the shipping-house of Thomas P. Coke in 1815, but abandoned merchandise for law, and became a student in the office of John Sergeant. He was admitted to the bar in 1822, and soon established a reputation as a chancery and real-estate lawyer. It is said that no other member of the Philadelphia bar was ever intrusted with so large a number of valuable estates. He was in active practice for sixty years, and had little to do with politics, except as a member of the state senate in 1854-57. During this service he was the author of several acts for the better security of real-estate titles and the rights of married women, and originated and secured the passage of the "Consolidation Act," by which the towns that are included in the present city of Philadelphia were united in one municipal government. The year before his election to the senate he framed and succeeded in making a law that is known as the "Price Act," relating to the sale and conveyance of real estate. He was an originator of Fairmount park, and a commissioner from its foundation in 1867, and as chairman of its committee on the purchase of real estate examined all the titles of lands that were inclosed within its borders and acquired by the city of Philadelphia. He was an active member of the American philosophical society and a constant contributor to its "Transactions," a member of several foreign scientific and literary societies, president of the University hospital, of the Preston retreat, of the Pennsylvania colonization society, and of the Numismatic and antiquarian society, a vice-president of the American philosophical society, and a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania. He published "Law of Limitations and Liens against Real Estate" (Philadelphia, 1851); several treatises that were contributed to the American philosophical society; and the memorial volumes "Philip and Rachel Price" (printed privately, 1852); "Rebecca" (1862); and the "Centennial Meeting of the Descendants of Philip and Rachel Price" (1864). See a "Memoir" by James T. Rothrock (Philadelphia, 1886), and "Address on the late Eli K. Price," delivered by Benjamin H. Brewster before the Bar association of Philadelphia (1886).