Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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FRALEY, Frederick, merchant, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 28 May 1804. After studying law for his own gratification, he engaged in business. In 1824 he was one of the founders of the Franklin institute, and was for many years its treasurer. He was elected to the City council in 1834, and, as chairman of its finance committee in 1837, when the suspension of specie payments had brought the City to the verge of insolvency, he proposed, as a measure of relief, the issue of certificates of debt in small denominations, which was successfully adopted. In the same year the Whigs to the state senate elected him. During his term of service in Governor Joseph Ritner's administration the trouble known as the " Buckshot war" arose, and, at the request of his colleagues, Mr. Fraley prepared an address to the people giving an account of it, and afterward served as chairman of the committee of investigation. In 1847, on the completion of Girard College, he was elected one of the board of directors of the institution, prepared the plan that was adopted for its organization and management, and for several years remained at the head of its direction. During a vacancy in the presidency he took that place in the College for six months.
He was active in the movement that culminated in 1854 in the consolidation of the City with all the districts within the bounds of the County. Mr. Fraley was one of the founders of the Union club, and its successor, the Union League of Philadelphia. He was chosen a delegate in 1868 to the commercial convention held in Boston for the establishment of a National board of trade, and was chosen first president of that board, and by unanimous reelection has continued in that office until the present time (1887). He was one of the most active promoters and organizers of the Centennial exhibition of 1876, and in 1873 was elected treasurer of the Centennial board of finance, He has been a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania since 1853, which in 1880 gave him the Degree of LL.D., and since 1879 he has been President of the American philosophical society.
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