Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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POWEL, Samuel, mayor of Philadelphia, born in Philadelphia in 1739; died there, 29 September, 1793. He was graduated in 1759 at the College of Philadelphia (now University of Pennsylvania), served several years in the city council, was a justice of the common pleas and quarter sessions courts, and in 1775 was chosen mayor, being the last under the charter of 1701. He continued in office until the military authorities took municipal matters into their own hands, and after the Revolution, under the new charter, he was, in 1789, again chosen mayor. In 1780 he subscribed £5,000 for the provisioning of the army. He was the speaker of the Pennsylvania senate in 1792, one of the early members of the American philosophical society, from 1773 till his death a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, one of the founders, and, in 1785, first president of the Philadelphia society for promoting agriculture, and a manager of the Pennsylvania hospital.--His wife, Elizabeth Willing, was a sister of Thomas Willing, the partner of Robert Morris. --Her nephew, John Hare, agriculturist, born in Philadelphia., 22 April, 1786; died in Newport, Rhode Island, 14 June, 1856, was originally named John Powel Hare, and he was own brother to Dr. Robert Hare (q. v.), but he was adopted by his aunt, Mrs. Powel, and at his majority assumed her name by act of legislature. He was educated at the College of Philadelphia, became a successful merchant, and, going abroad for pleasure, became secretary of the United States legation in London, under William Pinckney. While there, according to Charles Greville in his memoirs, he was "the handsomest man ever seen." He returned in December, 1811, served as brigade-major of volunteers under General Thomas Cadwalader, and from December, 1814, till June, 1815, was inspector-general with the rank of colonel in the regular army. He subsequently, at the desire of his family, refused a brigadier-general's commission in the Colombian service, and passed the remainder of his life in efforts to develop agriculture and improve the breed of domestic animals in the United States. He was one of the founders of the Pennsylvania agricultural society in 1823, and its secretary till 1824, correspondence actively with English agriculturists, and imported many valuable animals. Colonel Powel was a good speaker and debater, and a patron of the tine arts. He was a member of the Pennsylvania senate in 1827-'30, and a delegate to the Free-trade convention of 1832. He published many papers in the "Memoirs of the Pennsylvania Agricultural Society"; " Hints for American Husbandmen" (Philadelphia, 1827) ; pamphlets entitled "Reply to Pickering's Attack upon a Pennsylvania Farmer" (1825), and "Remarks on the Proper Termination of the Columbia Railroad" (1830); and many essays in agricultural periodicals.
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