Charles Stedman (1713-1784)

Captain Charles Stedman, Merchant, of Philadelphia

Associated Houses

Powel House


He was born in Scotland into a family already well-established in the shipping business. He went into business with two of his brothers, John and Alexander, importing dry goods and shipping supplies from Rotterdam while shipping German immigrants to the American Colonies via Rotterdam and Plymouth in England. In 1745, Charles and his brothers fought for the Pretender, but were captured after the Battle of Culloden. Before they could be sentenced, Charles and Alexander escaped to Philadelphia, and John to Rotterdam. Charles and John continued their shipping business while Alexander became a Judge of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Charles built the Powel House in Philadelphia but having fallen on hard times he sold the house and retired to Horsham, Pennsylvania, where he died. He was married twice. His first wife was a daughter of Judge Thomas Graeme and a step-grand-daughter of Governor Sir William Keith. His second wife was the widow of a Naval Captain and though he had no children by either marriage he was father-figure to his stepson, the Rev. James Abercrombie.


Contributed by Mark Meredith on 07/12/2018 and last updated on 08/03/2021.