Before the Revolution, Joseph was an active and successful merchant; but losses during the war and a series of reverses attending his mercantile ventures, after the war forced him into retirement. This type of misfortune befell several Whartons who over the centuries made bad business decisions, most notable their heavy investments in rural areas of Pennsylvania. Expecting massive growth north and west they purchased large tracts in areas around Northumberland County, only to lose great fortunes.
On June 18, 1760, at the Meeting House, Mansfield, Burlington. County, Joseph married Sarah Tallman, daughter of Job Tallman and Sarah ???. She was born August 25, 1740 and together nine children.
Joseph died in 1816 and the following obituary appeared on Dec. 30, 1816 Poulson's Advertiser
Died on the 25th instant, in the 83 yr. of his age, Joseph Wharton,Esq. long a respectable inhabitant of this city, and deeply and sincerely lamented by those who enjoyed the advantage of his friendship.
The protracted term of life, and the lingering illness through which the gentleman had passed, had neither impaired the original vigor of his mind, nor lessed the uncommon warmth of his affections. His understanding, naturally quick and powerful, was improved to an extent little commons with the past generation. Few men, perhaps possessed such an intimate acquaintance with the language and literature of Greece and Rome and still fewer have, like him, retained an undiminished attachment to them at an advanced stage of life and while suffering under poor health. In the early part of his life he had enjoyed the pecular good fortune of an intercourse with many of the most celebrated literary men of Europe. In latter years disease and misfortune caused his retirement from the world, but lessened not his zeal for the welfare of society, his duties toward which he discharged with exemplary propriety. It only remains perhaps to add that he was a sincere and devout believer in the great truths of our religion and closed a well-spent life in the firm persuasion of a removal to a better state of being.
The Daily Advertiser:
Died on Wednesday, the 1st instant, in the 37th year of his age, Thomas Parr Wharton. A vigorous and highly-cultivated understanding, united to a just and benevolent disposition, rendered the deceased peculiarly agreeable and dear to his friends and family. A series of misfortunes taught him the uncertainty of all human pursuits and attachments as the means of happiness, and a tedious and painful illness became in the hands of a kind providence, the means of conveying to him the knowledge of his Redeemer, in whose mercy alone he placed his hopes of acceptance beyond the grave; his last words, I die in peace.