The Catholic Church of Saint Mary, Philadelphia


This print shows the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Mary, located on Fourth Street between Locust and Spruce Streets in Philadelphia. Men, women, and a small girl dressed in their Sunday finery are shown walking on the sidewalk in front of the church. George Washington and John Adams were among the important figures of the Continental Congress who sometimes attended services at Saint Mary’s, which was built in 1763 and renovated in 1810. The illustration is by William L. Breton, a watercolorist and early lithographer of Philadelphia scenes who was active in the city between about 1825 and 1855. Born in England circa 1773, Breton immigrated to Philadelphia about 1824. In the late 1820s, he contributed illustrations to Annals of Philadelphia, compiled by the antiquarian John F. Watson. In 1829 Breton entered the lithographic trade to execute the illustrations for the Annals. He worked extensively with the firm of Kennedy & Lucas, operated by David Kennedy and William B. Lucas, which produced the first commercial lithographs in Philadelphia. In 1829-30 Breton collaborated with Kennedy & Lucas to produce the first separately issued series of lithographic views of Philadelphia depicting local churches of different denominations.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Kennedy & Lucas's Lithography, Philadelphia


Title in Original Language

The Catholic Church of St. Mary, Philadelphia.

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 print : lithograph, hand-colored, mounted on paper ; 30 x 21 centimeters


  • Digital catalog number: POS 88


  1. William L. Breton, Philadelphia on Stone Biographical Dictionary, Library Company of Philadelphia,
  2. Philadelphia on Stone Biographical Dictionary of Lithographers,

Last updated: January 8, 2018