How lucky we are to have our Camden streets named after wonderful and important men out of the past. So who are we talking about today? American philanthropist Stephan Girard, and George P. R. James, a novelist and history writer.
Stephan Girard was born near Bordeaux, France on May 24, 1750. In 1769 he settled as a trader in Philadelphia where he established the Second National Bank and advanced several million dollars to the United States Treasury during the War of 1812. In the yellow fever epidemic in 1793 he nursed many of the sick in hospitals; and in public matters his generosity was remarkable. Among other bequests he left $2,000,000 for the erection and maintenance in Philadelphia of a non-religious college for male orphans. It was opened January 1, 1848 and named Girard College. He died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 26, 1831.
Now we shall go on to James.
George P. R. (Payne Rainsford) James was an English novelist born in London, England in 1801. While still very young he manifested a considerable talent for literary composition, and produced, in 1822, a Life of Edward the Black Prince. Some years afterward he composed his first novel. Its success determined him toward fiction and a series of novels, above 60 in number, followed from his pen in rapid succession, besides several historical and other works. Later he accepted the office of British consul, first in Richmond, Virginia, and afterward at Venice, where he died in 1860.
So that’s the story of Girard and James.