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Born: c. 1715, Died: 1760

Joseph Hitchcock was a master builder elected to The Carpenters' Company prior to the earliest surviving records. Joseph Hitchcock was one of the very early members of the Carpenters’ Company. Hitchcock was originally a member of Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, but was eventually read out of said Meeting. His first act of disobedience occurred in 1737 when he was accused of “disorderly procedure in Marriage”, Hitchcock sent in a paper to the Monthly meeting condemning this accusation. Eventually, in 1746 “Friends were appointed to prepare a testimony against Joseph Hitchcock” and he was disowned. Hitchcock was listed at 16 pounds on the Dock Ward tax list in 1756. Thus he likely resided in the Dock Ward. Scharf and Westcott included a Joseph Hitchcock as a bricklayer for Independence Hall. It is unknown if this was the same Joseph Hitchcock. Joseph Hitchcock died the fourth day of the second month in 1760 and was listed as a house carpenter in his will. He willed to his illegitimate son, John Hitchcock, “all my Working Tools and Implements belonging to my Trade”. Joseph’s inventory was valued at 19 pounds, 6 shillings and 6 pence (no real estate). Hitchcock did possess real estate as he willed a lot of ground on the West side of 2nd street opposite the new Market to either his son John or his daughter Elizabeth. Joseph’s “ sundrey Carpenters tools” were valued at 4 pounds. His will states that his son John “now lives with Edward and Thomas Middleton of the said City”. Thomas Middleton was a member of the Carpenters’ Company. James Davis, one of the two witnesses, was also a carpenter. There was a member of the Carpenters’ Company named James Davis Jr., whose father, James, was also a carpenter. Joseph’s will most likely refers to James Jr.

Written by Tom Stokes.

Clubs and Membership Organizations

  • Carpenters' Company of Philadelphia


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