His wealth was so extensive that shortly after his

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He left his wealth for charitable and public causes. His wealth was so extensive that shortly after his death, the merchants met to express their concern that removal of Girard's funds from circulation would devastate the financial world, and cause hardship to the debtors. Girard lived a simple, frugal life. He did not covet honors or fame and was free from every display of ostentation. Speaking of Girard, Arey said, "The people whom he liked best were the Quakers. He had sympathy with their disdain of forms, their shrewd business habits and their integrity." Although Girard had success in everything he attempted, his personal life was sad. He was unhappy in his youth because of his defective eye, the early death of his mother, and his inability to accept his stepmother. He left home at an early age and, therefore, did not benefit from the companionship of his family. In 1777 he married Mary Lum, a beautiful girl who was nine years younger than his 27 years. During the first twelve years of their marriage, she suffered with various degrees of "violent paranoia", and fits of alcoholism for which she was frequently admitted to the Pennsylvania Hospital. Finally, in 1789, she was permanently committed until her death in 1815. Early in her commitment, she bore a child. Girard disclaimed that the child was his, stating that he had neither seen or been with Mary prior to her permanent commitment. Within a few months the baby died. Girard never remarried and had no children. On Oct. 27, 1903 the Pennsylvania Hospital unveiled a memorial plaque to Girard that read, “A liberal contributor to the Pennsylvania Hospital and his wife Mary Girard who was buried near this spot in 1815, are hereby commemorated”. 2 Although he was born a Catholic, he did not attend church. The fact that he gave significant funds toward the construction and upkeep of churches of several denominations, belies any belief that he was an atheist or an agnostic. He was buried in the vault he built for Baron Henri Lallemand, his nephew, in the Holy Trinity Catholic cemetery at Sixth and Spruce. Bishop Kendrick refused to permit a Catholic burial mass because the Masons would not remove their ceremonial aprons. Twenty years later, his remains were reinterred in the Founder's Hall 2
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vestibule at Girard College behind a statue sculptured by N. Gevelot, a French sculptor living in Philadelphia. He was commissioned in 1833 but never finished the statue until 1846. He used borrowed Girard clothing as the model for the statue. The face was copied from a death mask made at the time of Girard's burial. 3 In spite of all his deeds, Girard was maligned by Stephen Simpson in his book, Biography of Stephen Girard , released within three months after Girard's death. Many myths about Girard can be traced to this book written by an ungrateful employee. Simpson's father George had been the head cashier in Girard's bank and while there he obtained employment for his son Stephen. When Stephen Simpson's father died, the son did not, as expected, receive the father's position. Many years passed before people like Professor William Wagner, a close friend
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  • Fall '19
  • Test, Second Bank of the United States, Stephen Girard, Marie Antoinette Girard

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