Biography

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Ebenezer Tomlinson, son of Joseph Tomlinson (d. 1719), Gloucester Township, New Jersey, was a master house carpenter and an early member of The Carpenters' Company. He was in Philadelphia by 1728 when, together with Richard Armitt, he witnessed the wedding of Deborah Powell, daughter of Samuel Powell, to Joshua Emlen (PGSP, vol. 2, p. 71-72). In 1736 he contributed two pounds toward theconstruction of a bridge over Dock Creek at Walnut Street and in 1739 advertised a house and lot on Front Street for sale at 80 pounds. When Pennsylvania finally settled on a site for a State House in 1732, Tomlinson and Edmund Woolley were hired by Andrew Hamilton as "the two Carpenters employed in building the State-house." Tomlinson worked on the buildings now known as Independence Hall for eight years until 1740 when he and Woolley petitioned "to be excused from doing any more of the work of the State-house." In 1750 he reported that he planned to leave Pennsylvania, but in 1764-65 he was being paid a weekly allowance by The Carpenters' Company probably due to ill-health. No record of his death has been located, and the only building with which he can firmly be associated is Independence Hall.

Written by Roger W. Moss.

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  • Carpenters' Company of Philadelphia

 

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