Eves, Joseph Bennett
Anonymous [Monogram TA]
Joseph Bennett Eves was one of the founders and first president of the Ludwick Institute. Incorporated in 1801 as the Philadelphia Society for the Establishment of Charity Schools, it took the name of its original benefactor, German-born Christopher Ludwick (d.1801), in 1872. Director of Baking in the Army of the United States under Washington, and a Philadelphia civic leader, Ludwick left an $8,000 estate "for the schooling and educating gratis, of poor children of all denominations, in the city and liberties of Philadelphia."
The University of Pennsylvania, originally founded as a charity school, had also been anxious to receive this bequest, but Governor Thomas McKean maintained that it would go to the first organization to submit documents of incorporation in the Rolls Office at Lancaster. Thus, a messenger from the University, on horseback, and Joseph Bennett Eves, in a sulky, set out from Philadelphia in a "hot race...but Eves soon distanced his competitor and arrived in Lancaster, sixty-six miles distant, in seven hours," establishing legal claim to the Ludwick legacy.
The Ludwick Institute remains in existence today. Its assets have grown considerably, and it supports a wide range of programs to benefit poor children. The Institute has, for many years, held its meetings at the Athenaeum.
25" x 30"
Oil on canvas; gilt frame
Gift of The Ludwick Institute.
General Collection, Museum Collection, The Athenaeum of Philadelphia