Question of the Week
Snyder Avenue in South Philadelphia was named after which Pennsylvania politician?
Answer: Simon Snyder
Simon Snyder was born November 5, 1759, in Lancaster, and was baptized in a Moravian Church. Snyder apprenticed as a leather worker in York and opened a general store in Selinsgrove. Not soon after, he started his political career as a justice of the peace and was elected delegate to the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention in 1789. He served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1797 to 1807, and was its speaker three times. He ran for governor unsuccessfully in 1805, but ran again in 1808 and was elected as a Jeffersonian Democrat. Snyder was re-elected in 1811 and 1814.
Snyder died of typhoid fever in 1819; there is a monument of him at Sharon Lutheran Church in Selinsgrove near his gravesite. Snyder Avenue in South Philadelphia is named after him; it is one of many Philadelphia streets named after former Pennsylvania governors; Mifflin Street, McKean Street, Wolf Street, Ritner Street, Porter Street, Shunk Street, Bigler Street, Packer Avenue, Curtin Street, Geary Street, and Pattison Avenue are some others.
HSP holds a collection of letters (#617) written by Simon Snyder, 1808-1817, to Nathaniel B. Boileau, who was secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania during Snyder’s terms as governor. We also have miscellaneous letters and manuscript items of Snyder in the Gratz Collection and others, as well as many images.
Image: Simon Snyder, engraving by Edwin after painting by Sully, (1809)
About the Author
Look for these history stories every Sunday in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The stories, called Memory Stream, are published in the Currents section of the newspaper.