Alice (of Philadelphia)

birthdate not found - 1802—Note this profile is still being updated.


Alice (of Philadelphia) was a native of Philadelphia who is reported to have been a local historian and storyteller, an active member of Christ Church and an vibrant city dweller who was apparently 116 years of age when she died in 1802. Her history keeping and history telling, while not recorded or known to have been recorded, must have been incredible as she experienced the city of Philadelphia through an extraordinary decade of change. Alice is known by various titles that demonstrate a disrespect and marginalization put upon her. On the other hand, the fact that a portrait was made of her points to the stature and high regard to which she ascended. Her portrait appeared in the second volume of Eccentric Biography; or Memoirs of Remarkable Female Characters, Ancient and Modern, 1804, written by Isiah Thomas. I don’t know much about this volume beyond the inadequate citation from the Library Company (see link). I have not yet seen a list of the other women written about in Volume II so I can’t glean what motivated Thomas to construct the compendium and how the women might be connected. Neither do I know how Thomas acquired Alice’s portrait or whether the portrait circulated in other publications or networks. I hope to look into this soon.

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