His mother, Jemima, died in Philadelphia in 1831. His grandfather's death and the continued loss of family property forced him to follow his sisters and aunts to Philadelphia in 1832. Fortunately, he still had with him his elder aunt, Mary, who had lived through the Revolution and provided a personal link with the history of that era. Also with him still was the ancient, winding Wissahickon Creek that flowed past Germantown to the outskirts of Philadelphia. This stream, which Lippard always loved, was steeped in a romantic lore that became linked in his mind with the epic of the Revolution. The most intriguing settlers of its environs in colonial days were millenarian mystics, the Radical Pietist community of Johannes Kelpius and fellow pilgrims from Germanic Europe. Associated with this group was another community founded by Conrad Beissel at Ephrata, which he selected for special praise during his activist years, an enthusiasm which was shared from afar by Friedrich Engels.