Rhoads's political career began in 1741, when he was elected to the Common Council of Philadelphia. He designed the east wing of the Pennsylvania Hospital. He also designed the west wing and an additional outdoor structure that weren't built until after his death, in 1794. In 1761 he was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly, where he served two terms. Rhoads shared the revolutionary sentiment spreading through the city in the 1770s and was a delegate to the First Continental Congress. He was elected Mayor of Philadelphia in 1774.
An associate and friend of Benjamin Franklin, Rhoads played a role in many of the important institutions of colonial Philadelphia. He was an early Director of the Library Company of Philadelphia, a founding Director of the Contributionship for the Insurance of Houses from Loss by Fire, and a Vice-President of the American Philosophical Society. He was a master of the Carpenters' Company of Philadelphia.
- Biographical Sketch at Philadelphia Architects and Buildings
- Samuel Rhoads at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Brief biography at Virtualology.com
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