He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and graduated in 1759 from the College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania). He served as mayor from 1775–1776 and 1789–1790, the office having lain vacant in the interim. He was a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate from 1790 to 1793.
On August 7, 1769, he married Elizabeth Willing, was the daughter of Philadelphia mayor Charles Willing and Ann Shippen, and a sister of Philadelphia mayor and Continental Congressman Thomas Willing, the business partner of Robert Morris.
Some Ancestry of Samuel Powel
"Samuel Powell, Pioneer ancestor of the Philadelphia family of that name, was born in stokes parish, St Gregory, Somersetshire, England 11 mo. 2, 1673, Of a somersetshire family originally from Wales, and Claimed descent from the prince of Powis, through Einion Efell, Lord of Cynlaeth, who flourished in the twelfth century. Their coat-of-arms bore "Party per fesse argent and or, a lion rampant gules", crest, "A star of eight points above a cloud,-all proper."
Samuel Powel's house, at 244 South 3rd Street, is a house museum run by the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks. A Georgian city house built by Charles Stedman in 1765, Powel expanded and embellished it around 1770, with carved woodwork and ornate plaster ceilings.
George and Martha Washington were friends of the Powels, and lived next door from November 1781 to March 1782, following the Battle of Yorktown. At the close of Washington's presidency, Mrs. Powel bought some of the furniture from the President's House in Philadelphia. The house museum owns a set of china that was a gift from Martha Washington.
The rear parlor was removed from the house in 1921, and is now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The ballroom was removed from the house in 1925, and is now at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Both rooms have been replicated at the house museum.
- Cox, Harold. "Senate Members P". Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.
- . Title: Colonial and revolutionary families of Pennsylvania : genealogical and personal memoirs. Author: John W Jordan. Colonial And Revolutionary Families Of Pennsylvania John W. Jordan. Genealogical Publishing Com, 2004 - Reference - 1706 pages (PG 110-112)Colonial And * Revolutionary Families Of Pennsylvania. ISBN 9780806352398. OCLC 70056604
- Powel House Parlor from Flickr.
- Replicated Powel House Ballroom from Flickr.
- Biography and portrait at the University of Pennsylvania
- Samuel Powel biography and links at ushistory.org
- Powel House official website
- Powel House ballroom at Philadelphia Museum of Art
- Samuel Powel at Find a Grave
- The Powel Family Papers, 1681-1938 (and here), including correspondence, financial records and other materials belonging to Samuel Powel, are available for research use at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
-  The Powell Family
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