Today in Graeme Park History – Charles Stedman’s Death
September 28 marks the anniversary of the death of the Graemes’ son-in-law, Charles Stedman, which occurred in 1784. Charles Stedman was born in Scotland in 1713, supported the Stuart cause and fought at Culloden. He escaped to Pennsylvania c. 1746 with his brother Alexander, with whom he ran a successful shipping business and engaged in the importation of dry goods and shipping supplies. The two were involved in placing indentured servants from Germany from the ships which used the port of Philadelphia. The brothers also partnered with Heinrich Wilhelm Stiegel in ownership of the Elizabeth Furnace, one of the first iron works in the Lancaster County area.
Charles married Ann Graeme, daughter of Dr. Thomas and Ann Diggs Graeme, on January 1 of either 1748 or 1749. Charles began a 25 year term as vestryman of Christ’s Church in 1752 and along with his wife was one of the earliest subscribers to the Philadelphia Dancing Assembly in 1748. In 1749 he helped found the St. Andrew’s Society, the first president of which was his father-in-law, Dr. Thomas Graeme. The Stedman’s began building what is now referred to as the Powel House in Philadelphia, although it was not completed before Ann died in the spring of 1766. After Ann’s death, Charles remarried in September but financial problems led him to sell off some of his business interests as well as seek a buyer for the newly built house, which he finally sold in 1769.
Despite having remarried and being survived by his second wife, Stedman is buried at Christ Church along with the Graeme family.