Charles Wharton
Builder of Bellevue

Charles Wharton born January 11, 1742/43 in Philadelphia was a very successful merchant and extensively engaged in the importing business of the city. He took the oath of allegiance to the State of PA, July 3, 1778.

From Philadelphia and her Merchants

"In 1791, and long before and after, the late venerable Charles Wharton was actively engaged, first in the wholesale grocery trade and afterward as an eminent shipping merchant and importer in the China trade. He occupied the premises No 153 thru to Water st where he probably originated his grocery business. His residence was at No 136 South Second st, near Spruce, a large and very superior mansion having a flight of high and broad marble steps at its entrance; it was a noble structure of the day."

This branch of the family was to continue it's legacy of business success and religious devotion well into the 20th Century. Charles's Grandson was Joseph Wharton industrial baron and founder of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Charles may have been lucky in business, but he was unlucky in love. He's first wife Jemima Edwards whom he married March 12, 1772, Christ Church, Philadelphia died shortly after their marriage and he married (2) Elizabeth Richardson October 22, 1778 at Wilmington MM. Elizabeth died May 23, 1782. There is no record of children from either of these marriages. The third time was the charm indeed as Charles married Hannah Redwood October 13, 1784, Friends Meeting House. This marriage not only produced six children but also united the Whartons of Philadelphia with the Redwoods a very dominant Quaker family from Rhode Island. To this day descendants of this branch vacation in the Newport area of RI.. Hannah born September 25, 1759 in Newport, was the daughter of William Redwood and Hannah Holmes.

With all his success Charles followed many of the era and built a mansion (now destroyed) in Germantown called Bellevue. From a 1902 Edition of a "Guidebook to Historic Germantown". On the left side of the turnpike beyond Branchtown and at the bottom of the hill is the entrance to Mr. Charles Wharton's place. Just inside the gateway is a rough stone some eight or ten feet in height. Here are buried four American soldiers, surprised and shot by the British as they met around their camp fire, 1777.  Anna H. Wharton wrote a book about Bellevue, Bellevue : for the children / by Aunt Anne ; Christmas, 1862, Long before subdivisions and strip malls took over suburban Philadelphia Bellevue played an important role in the lives of Charles, Hannah and the children who were:

Joseph born August 17, 1785, Philadelphia, died June 27, 1803
William born November 27, 1787, Philadelphia, died March 05, 1788
Sarah Redwood, born June 01, 1789, died June 15, 1837. m. William Craig
William, born June 27, 1790, died January 15, 1856, m. Deborah Fisher
Charles born September 20, 1792, died May 23, 1864 m. Anne Marie Hollingsworth
Hannah Redwood, born November 15, 1794, died June 11, 1854, m. Thomas Gilfillan Hollingsworth

When Charles died March 15, 1838, he left Bellevue to his son William.

From Philadelphia and Her Merchants

"Mr. Wharton had attained to venerability even in my younger days, to which his white capacious wig gave tone, as well as the measured gait that passed his tall and well formed figure from his portal to the pave. He died in the month of Feb 1838 in the ninety-fifth year of his age. ...He was in the full tide of business in the days of the Am Rev, seeing that the British burnt a fine ship for him, then nearly finished, on the docks."

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