Member Biography

Israel Whelen 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1795-1796       1 Federalist
1796-1797       1 Federalist
1797-1798       1 Federalist

COUNTIES: Delaware, Philadelphia  


12/13/1752 - 10/21/1806

Israel Whelen (Federalist1) Delaware, Philadelphia City, Philadelphia Counties 1795-1798

Early Life:

Israel Whelen,  born December 13, 1752, Uwchlan Township, Chester County, Province of Pennsylvania, British Colonial America; son of Dennis and Sarah Thompson Whelan; captain, then Commissary General American Revolution, 1776; moved, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; merchant, grocery business, then with partner, Joseph Miller, moved from groceries to shipping, gunpowder with France; unsuccessful campaign, Common Council, Philadelphia City, Pennsylvania 1789; elected, Federalist, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1795-1798; commissioner of assessed taxes, District of Pennsylvania; American agent, Phoenix Insurance Company of London; director, Bank of the United States, 1791; incorporator, president,  Lancaster Turnpike Company; presidential appointee, United States Purveyor of Public Supplies, 1800-1803; married, Mary Downing; died, October 21, 1806, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania; interment, Friends Arch Street Meeting House Burial Ground, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Politics:

Unsuccessful campaign, Common Council, Philadelphia City, Pennsylvania, 1789. 

Elected, Federalist, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1st district, Delaware, Philadelphia City, Philadelphia Counties 1795-1798; committee member to secure ratification, Jay Treaty, 1796; member, electoral college for Pennsylvania, 1796. 

United States commissioner of assessed taxes, District of Pennsylvania, in charge of collecting all federal revenues in the state. 

Continued Government Service/National Politics:

Appointed, 2nd United States Purveyor of Public Supplies, President John Adams, 1800-1803


Brother, Dennis Whelen, Federalist, Pennsylvania State Senate, Bucks, Chester, Montgomery Counties, 1794-1801; Federalist, Chester County, 1801-1802.

Dennis Whelen  - Pennsylvania Senate Library (

As a merchant, amassed substantial assets and he built an impressive home near Downingtown. Yet, shortly before his death he suffered significant losses when the French government under Napoleon seized several his ships. 

The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Headquarters, Philadelphia is dedicated in his honor. 


Cox, Harold. "Senate Members W"Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.

A New Nation Votes (

DVIDS - Images - DLA Troop Support Headquarters dedication ceremony honors local historical figure Israel Whelen [Image 2 of 2] (

Israel Whelen (1752-1806) - Find a Grave Memorial