John Cadwalader

Originally Published in 1925

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Mr. John Cadwalader died on the evening of March 11, 1925, at his home at 1519 Locust Street within half an hour of his last attack of illness that seized him while attending a meeting at 240 South Fourth Street, the old family home in which he was born 82 years ago. To say that Mr. Cadwalader was one who represented the best traditional citizenship of Philadelphia is only to describe in very general terms a personality which, so long identified with the institutions of the City, assumed in fact the qualities and the effect of an Institution in itself. The passing of that personality means more than the closing of a career; it signalizes the ending of an era, the obsequies of an established order. It is well to take note of the fact for the like will not be seen again. The ideals and principles with which that order was informed, though they have proved so vulnerable, had the great advantage and the merit of sincerity and strength, qualities that were implicit in Mr. Cadwalader’s character. His was a life of singular purity of purpose and a life that in its relation to society in general, to his friends and to humanity was typical of the breed to whom the name of gentleman was first applied. The name has not become obsolete, it has only changed its usage.


Portrait of John Cadwalader
John Cadwalader, Esq.

At a meeting of the Board of Managers of the University Museum held on March 20, 1925, the President referred feelingly to Mr. Cadwalader’s relation to the Museum Board, to the Community and to himself personally.

After announcing to the Board the death of their associate, Mr. John Cadwalader, who had been elected a member of the Museum Board Managers on May 20, 1910, the President referred to the long association of Mr. Cadwalader’s family with the history of Philadelphia, and spoke at length upon his honour, his integrity and his fearlessness in expressing approval or disapproval of any subject which came before his colleagues for their consideration. The President stated that Mr. Cadawalader was absolutely unafraid and the example of his courage and fearlessness and of his unusual mastery of principles and of events made his loss an almost irreparable one.

Mr. Harrison then informed the Board of his long and unbroken friendship for Mr. Cadwalader who was in fact his nearest and best friend; the period of this friendship lasting over three score years and ten. During this long association, while naturally there were differences of opinion upon one question or another, there never had been a word of unkindly disagreement between them.

The Board unanimously adopted a resolution embodying these statements of the President, to be spread upon the Minutes of the Board in full, with instructions that a copy be sent to Mrs. Cadwalader.

Cite This Article

"John Cadwalader." The Museum Journal XVI, no. 1 (March, 1925): 5-6. Accessed February 21, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/journal/1289/


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