The Mission of Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion is to showcase Victorian era Philadelphia through the architecture, grounds/gardens, and collections; and to educate, entertain and inspire through onsite educational programming, tours, theatre events and lectures.

Members Only Lecture

 with Cordelia Frances Biddle


Dynamic, determined Victorian women broke a long-held stereotype of lives devoted solely to hearth and home. Artists like the Mansion’s Fanny Palmer and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art’s Alice Barber Stephens, writers like the trailblazing Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book, and social reformers like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Philadelphia’s Eliza Sproat Turner, created a new model of womanhood.

Author Cordelia Frances Biddle discusses the Victorian women who dared to challenge the status quo.

Following Ms. Biddle’s talk, Diane Richardson will present the Annual Report to the members. Before and after the presentations, members can enjoy a cookie reception.

Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 2:00 pm

Free of charge to members.  Free of charge to members. Call (215)438-1861 for reservations.

BECOME A MEMBER TODAY and join us for a fascinating afternoon.

Lilli DeJong

 with Janet Benton and Robert Hicks, PhD

It’s not every day that a major publisher puts out a novel set largely in Germantown. Janet Benton’s Lilli de Jong (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday) is the diary of a young Quaker in 1883 Philadelphia who gives birth at a charity for unwed mothers. The fictional Lilli comes from an old Germantown family and was a new teacher at a Friends’ school and a lifelong member of a Meeting before her fall. Finding that the bond with her infant is not easily broken, she gains the courage to go against social norms, struggling against increasing obstacles to keep her baby and herself alive.

Come hear some of what Benton learned about baby farmers, wet nursing, Blockley almshouse, the care of foundlings, women’s poverty, the recovery of starving infants, prejudice against unwed mothers, Quaker ways and practices, and so much more. Find out how Benton crafted this tale of physical, emotional, moral, and spiritual trials that brings us from an institution for unwed mothers (based on an actual one downtown) to a wealthy family’s home on Walnut Lane to the streets of a burgeoning city. The author will also read an excerpt of the novel and answer questions.

Robert D. Hicks, PhD, Director Mütter Museum, will give historical context to Benton’s compelling novel. Enjoy a special display from the Mütter Museum in Mr. Maxwell’s library.

Sunday, June 25, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. 

Cost: $25, Member cost: $20 CLICK HERE for reservations or call (215)438-1861Reservations are required.