Thomas Cadwalader, MD

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Thomas Cadwalader

Birthplace: Philadelphia, PA, USA
Death: Died in Trenton, NJ, USA
Place of Burial: Friends Burying Ground Trenton Mercer County New Jersey, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of John Cadwalader and Martha Cadwalader
Husband of Hannah Cadwalader
Father of Mary Dickinson; Lambert Cadwalader; Gen. John Cadwalader, Esq. and Margaret Meredith
Brother of Hannah Morris

Occupation: physician, councillor
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Thomas Cadwalader, MD

Thomas Cadwalader became a noted physician obtaining his professional education largely in England. He practiced first in Philadelphia, then went to live at Trenton, New Jersey, where in 1746 he became the first burgess under the charter granted by Governor Belcher, of New Jersey. In 1750 he returned to Philadelphia and there rose to eminence in his profession, served in many positions of honor and trust.

He was an ardent patriot, and lived an honorable, useful life that terminated November 14, 1779, at the age of seventy-two years, at his farm "Greenwood" about one mile from Trenton, New Jersey. He is known in history as Dr. Thomas Cadwalader, the "Councillor," having served with Chew and Mifflin as a member of the Provencial Council from November 2, 1755, until the Revolution. He also served as a member of Philadelphia common council, 1751 until 1774. He was one of the original incorporators of the Philadelphia Library Company, founded in 1731 and was a director in the years 1731-1732-1733-1739-1752-1769-1773-1774.

He married June 18, 1738, Hannah, daughter of Thomas Lambert, of New Jersey. She died in Philadelphia in 1786, aged seventy-four years, and was buried in Friend's burying ground in Trenton, New Jersey, in which city he had founded a public library. His daughters married distinguished men of their day, except the youngest, Elizabeth, one of the flower girls at Washington's reception in Trenton in 1789, who died unmarried ten years after that event, aged twenty-nine years. His sons - John, of further mention, and Lambert - both attained distinction in business, military and official life.


CADWALADER, Thomas, physician, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1708; died near Trenton, New Jersey, 14 November, 1779. He began the study of medicine in Philadelphia and completed his course in London. About 1731 he returned to Philadelphia, and continued his profession there for fifteen years.

During the winter of 1736-'7 he is mentioned as one of the physicians that inoculated for the small-pox. In 1746 he removed to Trenton, New Jersey, but in 1750 he returned to Philadelphia. He subscribed in 1751 toward the capital stock of the Pennsylvania hospital, of which he became one of the original physicians, and in the same year was elected a member of the common council, in which he served until 1774.

Dr. Cadwalader was called to the provincial council on 2 November, 1755, and signed the non-importation articles. In July, 1776, the committee of safety of Pennsylvania appointed him on a committee for the examination of all candidates that applied for the post of surgeon in the navy, and at the same time he was appointed a medical director of the army hospitals. In 1778 he succeeded the elder William Shippen as surgeon of Pennsylvania hospital, and previously, in 1765, he had been elected trustee of the Medical college of Philadelphia, where he gave a course of lectures.

Dr. Cadwalader was a member of the American philosophical society and the American society for promoting useful knowledge before their union in 1769. He was one of the original corporators of the Philadelphia library company in 1731.

It is reported that he saved the life of a son of Governor Jonathan Belcher by the application of electricity before 1750, and he published an "Essay on the West India Dry Gripes" (1745). Its purpose was to prove that quicksilver and drastic purgatives were highly injurious to the system. He was the father of General John Cadwalader and of Colonel Lambert Cadwalader.--His grandson, Thomas, soldier, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 28 October, 1779; died there, 31 October, 1841, was the son of General John Cadwalader, and was graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1795. After studying law he was admitted to the bar, but took charge of the interests of the Penn family, which withdrew him from practice. In April, 1799, he was a private soldier in a cavalry troop, and was one of the sixteen that captured the ringleaders of the insurrection in Pennsylvania. During the war of 1812 he was a lieutenant-colonel of cavalry, and he was afterward appointed to command the advanced light-brigade. Under General Cadwalader's training these troops became remarkable for their efficiency and discipline. In 1812 he was appointed major-general of the 1st division of Pennsylvania militia. With Winfield Scott and Zachary Taylor he was appointed in 1826 to revise the tactics of the United States army. In 1816 he was appointed a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania.--His son, John, lawyer, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1 April, 1805; died there, 26 January, 1879, was graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1821, and in 1825, after studying law with Horace Binney, was admitted to the bar. The place of solicitor of the Bank of the United States was given to him by his relative, Nicholas Biddle, then its president, and his services were also retained by the government in important cases, among which was the Blackburne cloth prosecution. Mr. Cadwalader afterward confined himself to private practice in his profession, and was one of the best-known commercial lawyers in the United States. In 1844, after the riots of that year, he raised a company for the city artillery composed chiefly of lawyers, which was partially supported by the city authorities, he was elected to congress as a Democrat and served from 3 December, 1855, till 3 March. 1857. In 1858 he was appointed judge of the United States district court, and he served thereafter on the bench until his death. The degree of LL.D. was conferred on him by the University of Pennsylvania in 1870.--Dr. Thomas's grandson. Thomas, soldier, born near Trenton, New Jersey, 11 September, 1795; died there, 22 October, 1873, was the son of Colonel Lambert Cadwalader (vol. i., p. 494). He was born at Greenwood, a property that was purchased by his father in 1776, and is still owned by the family. Young Cadwalader was graduated at Princeton in 1815 and then studied law, but never practised, he was appointed deputy adjutant-general of the New Jersey militia on 2 June, 1830, aide-de-camp to the governor, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and adjutant-general of the state, with the rank of brigadier-general, on 30 July, 1842. This office he retained through several political changes, until his resignation on 26 January, 1858. In 1856, at the request of the governor, he travelled through various European countries and reported on the firearms there in use, which report was printed. He was brevetted major-general in March, 1858, in pursuance of a special act of the legislature for his long and meritorious services.--His son, John Lambert, lawyer, born near Trenton, New Jersey, 17 November, 1836, was graduated at Princeton in 1856 and at Harvard law-school in 1860. His legal studies were made with Daniel Lord in New York city, and subsequently he practised his profession in that place. During 1874-'6 he was assistant secretary of state under Hamilton Fish.--Another son, Richard McCall, lawyer, born in Trenton, New Jersey, 17 September, 1839, was graduated at Princeton in 1860, and at Harvard law-school in 1863. He was admitted to the Philadelphia bar in 1864, where he has since practised successfully. Mr. Cadwalader is the author of "The Law of Ground Rents " (Philadelphia, 1879).

-------------------- Dr Thomas Cadwalader Birth: 1707 Death: Nov. 14, 1779

Dr Thomas Cadwalader was the founder of Trenton and New Jersey's first library.

From flowers: Birth date: 1707 Married Hannah Lambert (1712-1786) on June 18, 1738. Physician,Burgess,Common Council,Provincal Council. - George Seitz

Family links:

 Hannah Lambert Cadwalader (1712 - 1786)*

 Lambert Cadwalader (1742 - 1823)*
 John Cadwalader (1742 - 1786)*
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Note: Husband of Hannah Lambert

Burial: Friends Burying Ground Trenton Mercer County New Jersey, USA

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Created by: Kat Record added: Jul 08, 2005 Find A Grave Memorial# 11314142

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Thomas Cadwalader, MD's Timeline

Philadelphia, PA, USA
June 18, 1738
Age 31
Burlington, NJ, USA
January 10, 1742
Age 35
Trenton, Mercer County, NJ, USA
Age 35
Trenton, New Jersey
February 11, 1744
Age 37
Philadelphia, PA
Age 41
November 14, 1779
Age 72
Trenton, NJ, USA
November 14, 1779
Age 72
Friends Burying Ground Trenton Mercer County New Jersey, USA