In Memory of Rev. William Ducachet

Let me introduce The Rev. William Ducachet who died on this date in 1865. Trained originally as a physician, he became St. Stephen’s second rector in 1834 until his death thirty-one years later. In office during some of the most turbulent years in Philadelphia and American history. Dr. Ducachet gained wide respect as an affable, sophisticated peacemaker through negotiation—and quick action. He was long remembered for his role in the violently destructive “nativist” riots primarily against Irish Catholics in May and July 1844. In May he reportedly rescued and gave refuge to the Catholic Bishop, Francis Kenrick (himself Irish-born) and to the remaining Sisters of Mercy as their convent was burned.

—Suzanne Glover Lindsay, St. Stephen’s historian and curator