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 • Friends Arch Street Meeting House Burial Ground
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Roberts Vaux
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Birth: Jan. 25, 1786
Philadelphia
Philadelphia County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Jan. 7, 1836
Philadelphia
Philadelphia County
Pennsylvania, USA

Roberts Vaux, a descendant of English Quakers and the oldest son of Richard and Ann (Roberts) Vaux, received his education at private schools in Philadelphia, was admitted to the bar in 1808, and rose rapidly to prominence in his profession. In addition to his professional career, Vaux was one of the most noted philanthropists in Philadelphia.

Owing to his Quaker background, Roberts Vaux believed that all members of society were entitled to an education and made it his business to ensure that almost all residents of Philadelphia received one. Consequently, Vaux was one of the originators of the public-school system of Pennsylvania, and for fourteen years held the first presidency of the Board of Public Schools of Philadelphia. He was also one of the founders of the Deaf and Dumb Asylum, the Blind School and Asylum, the Philadelphia Savings Fund, the Historical Society, and other benevolent societies of Pennsylvania.

His devotion to education extended to educating prisoners during detention in order to prevent multiple incarcerations and pushed for the abandonment of inhuman punishments. Early in life he became interested in prison matters, and as a penologist he acquired his greatest distinction. He was one of the commissioners to adapt the law of Pennsylvania to the separate system of imprisonment, and also to build the Eastern State Penitentiary, and labored zealously in the cause of prison-reform.

Other causes which Vaux was associated included the abolition of slavery and petitioning government on behalf of Native Americans. He was also member of scientific societies in Europe, and of the Philosophical Society of Pennsylvania. He refused several public posts that were offered him by President Andrew Jackson, among which was the mission to St. Petersburg. Vaux did however accept an appointment as judge in the Court of Common Pleas in 1835. The following year Roberts Vaux died suddenly of a malignant form of scarlet fever.

Roberts Vaux married Margaret Wistar, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Waln) Wistar in 1814. Together, the couple had two children, Richard and Thomas Wistar Vaux.
 
 
Family links: 
 Children:
  Richard Vaux (1816 - 1895)*
  Thomas Wistar Vaux (1820 - 1887)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Friends Arch Street Meeting House Burial Ground
Philadelphia
Philadelphia County
Pennsylvania, USA
 
Created by: Ryan David Schweitzer
Record added: Sep 06, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 96609886
Roberts Vaux
Added by: Ryan David Schweitzer
 
Roberts Vaux
Added by: Ryan David Schweitzer
 
 
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- Keeper of the Stars
 Added: Feb. 7, 2014

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