Joseph Townsend

Joseph Townsend

Bradford Hills, Chester County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 30 Sep 1841 (aged 85)
Baltimore, Baltimore City, Maryland, USA
Burial Baltimore, Baltimore City, Maryland, USA
Plot V/146
Memorial ID 117157423 View Source
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Biography: Started the Friends School of Baltimore in 1784—the first teacher in school history. Also founded the Baltimore Equitable Society in 1794, and was elected to The Ancient and Honorable Mechanical Company of Baltimore in 1805.

His obituary from the 4 October 1841 edition of The Baltimore Sun:

►It was with feelings of deep sorrow that we recorded among our obituary notices yesterday, the name of JOSEPH TOWNSEND, one of our oldest and most useful citizens. Connected, as he has been, for the period of more than half a century, with almost every public enterprize having for its object the advancement of the city, his demise will cause a blank in society which it will be hard indeed to fill.
Mr. Townsend was born in Chester county, in Pennsylvania, in 1756. In 1777 he witnessed the Battle of Brandywine, in which, however, being a member of the peaceful Society of Friends, he took no part, and in consequence of the devastation from that battle he was forced to change his residence. The prospects offered by the natural advantages of the then Town of Baltimore, induced him to choose this place as his home. His active business habits and unbending integrity soon became apparent, and the many evidences of the confidence of his fellow citizens show the estimation in which he has been at all times held. In the year 1794, having been mainly instrumental in the establishment of the Baltimore Equitable Insurance Company, he was chosen the Treasurer (that being the chief officer) of that useful and prosperous Institution, and he has now administered its affairs for the long period of forty-seven years without blemish or reproach.
Mr. Townsend was one of the Commissioners appointed to lay out the city of Baltimore as at present established, and though he traced the course of many of our principal streets, over hills and through marshes, he had the proud satisfaction of seeing them grow into populous and well built thoroughfares. His philanthropy and benevolence were strongly displayed during the prevalence of the yellow fever in this city, in 1794, 1797, 1800, and 1819, during which several periods his exertions in behalf of those whom the pestilence had afflicted, were unceasing. Notwithstanding his many public duties, his energy and activity were fully equal to every thing he undertook; for besides the care devolving upon him from his official station, and from the exercise of a philanthropy, most public spirited, yet most unobtrusive, he was at the head of several incorporations having for their object of advancement of the business of the city, and was otherwise connected in various ways with numerous public enterprizes. Enjoying almost uninterrupted good health, the result of his temperate and regular mode of living, he retained his mental faculties to the last; so that when the final summons of Death came, the even tenor of his life had been so expended in active benevolence, that he was fully prepared to go.—American. [Page 2]


NAT: 1756 OB: 1841