July 15, 1849 (Sunday)

This is a delightful day the storm of yesterday having purified and cooled the atmosphere.  There has been an evident decrease of the cholera owing, likely, to the change in the air.

Franklin Square suffered terribly from yesterday’s storm.  Went to St. Philip’s this morning, Epiphany, afternoon, and to hear Dr. Bethune this evening.

In 1849, cholera was still thought to be airborne.  See the May 18 post for more information.

Nathan often goes to St. Philip’s, but this is the first time he mentions the Church of the Epiphany. This church was located in the Schuylkill section, on the northwest corner of South 15th Streets and Chestnut Street (hard by the present day city hall). The rector at the time was the Reverend John H. Fowles.

Dr. George Washington Bethune (1805–1862), a descendant of French Huguenots and Scottish Presbyterians, was the rector of the Third Dutch Reformed Church, located on the northeast corner of North 10th and Filbert Streets. Dr. Bethune, apropos of his position and the practices of the times, was oft published.  The American Antiquarian Society has 31 titles by or about him, including a speech given at Harvard University just four days after Nathan heard him in Philadelphia.

from Memoir of Rev. George W. Bethune by A. R. Van Nest.


Van Nest, A. R. Memoir of Rev. George W. Bethune. New York: Sheldon, 1867.

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