Early life and education
Matthias Richards was born near Pottstown, Pennsylvania. He had many siblings, including an older brother John Richards. His schooling was with a private tutoring, as was typical of many families then.
He enlisted and served during the American Revolutionary War as a private in Col. Daniel Udree’s second battalion, Berks County Militia, from August 5, 1777, until January 5, 1778. He was commissioned a major of the Fourth Battalion, Philadelphia County Militia in 1780.
After being elected to Congress, Richards was appointed an inspector of customs (1801–1802). He was appointed collector of revenue for the ninth district of Pennsylvania in 1813, and clerk of the orphans’ court for Berks County in 1823. He also worked at mercantile pursuits in Reading, Pennsylvania, until his death there on August 4, 1830.
Marriage and family
Having become an artisan and saddler, Richards married Maria Salome Muhlenberg (“Sally”), then age 15, on May 8, 1782. She was the youngest child of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg. Among their children was John William Richards, who became a minister. His son Matthias Henry Richards became a professor of English at Muhlenberg College in 1868.
- Wallace, Paul A. W. (1950). The Muhlenbergs of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 90. "She was only fifteen when, on May 8, 1782, she was married to Matthias Richards, a prosperous saddler of Boyertown, Pennsylvania."
- Foster, Gordon B., ed. (1942-05-23), "THE EPIC STORY OF THE HEROIC MUHLENBERG FAMILY" (txt), The epic story of the heroic Muhlenberg family, Muhlenberg College, May twenty-fourth to June first, 1942, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania: MUHLENBERG BICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION, Inc., retrieved 2010-09-06
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 3rd congressional district
1807–1809 alongside: John Hiester and Robert Jenkins
1809–1811 alongside: Daniel Hiester and Robert Jenkins
John M. Hyneman