at 120 S 13th St , 19107
The Philadelphia Club, founded in 1834 and located at 13th and Walnut Streets in Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the oldest city club in the United States, and one of the oldest gentlemen's clubs. Notable members have included General George Meade, author Owen Wister, and many members of the Du Pont and Biddle families.HistoryFoundingThe club's founders were a group of men who met to play cards at Mrs. Rubicam's Coffeehouse at the northwest corner of 5th & Minor Streets in Philadelphia. In early 1834,they moved around the corner to the Adelphia Building at 212 South 5th Street, taking the new building's name as the club's name. "The Adelphia Club" held its first recorded meeting on March 21, 1834. The following year, its members moved to the Joseph Bonaparte house at 260 South 9th Street, and changed the club's name to "The Philadelphia Club." In 1843 they moved to 919 Walnut Street, and in 1850 the club moved to its current location, the Thomas Butler Mansion at 1301 Walnut Street.American Civil WarThe Civil War period was a difficult time for the Club. The Union was well represented but there were many influential members who were Southern sympathizers with family and financial interests in the American South. The East Reading Room was reserved for Radical Republicans the West Reading Room for Copperheads. The sliding doors between them were kept closed. Roland Evans, a Copperhead, having been insulted by a scalawag, knocked him down with his cane and was expelled from the Club. He sued for reinstatement, claiming lack of due process and a fair hearing, and won in the Court of Common Pleas. On appeal, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court split, leaving stand the lower court opinion in his favor, whereupon he entered the Club, went to the bar, ordered a drink, and resigned.