Posted October 9th, 2009 at 8:30 am.

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania presents
Wednesday, October 14 at 6:00 p.m.
1300 Locust Street
Free and open to the public. Please register at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/401207021
or phone 215-732-6200

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania has completed a two-year project to process and preserve the Chew Family Papers, an extensive collection that documents the lives of the Maryland and Pennsylvania branches of the Chew family through seven generations. Highlights of the collection will be on display at a free event at 6 p.m. October 14. Project archivist Cathleen Miller will discuss the collection and share information about this fascinating family.

The history of the Chew family in America goes back to 1622, when John Chew arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, aboard the Charitie. One of the family’s most well known members is Benjamin Chew, who served as chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court from 1775 to 1777. The British occupied Cliveden, Chew’s country house, which became a main stage of the Battle of Germantown in October of 1777.

The Chew family was influential in the early republic, with extensive political connections to prominent judicial and political figures including the Penn family, presidents, members of Congress, diplomats, and others. Nearly every significant national and international event during the 18th and 19th centuries is documented in the Chews’ correspondence with their friends and acquaintances. In addition to the collection’s emphasis on the Chew family and Philadelphia’s elite, the papers provide a perspective on the lives of many of the Chews’ slaves and servants and offer insights into family relationships, the treatment of enslaved people, women’s history, health, religion, legal history, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, politics, trade, land management and settlement, surveying, the industrialization of western New Jersey, and the growth and development of the city of Philadelphia.

The processing project was funded through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and individual donations. The 650-page finding aid is now available on the Historical Society’s Web site at www.hsp.org/default.aspx?id=35.

Filed under: Uncategorized by Margaret Kelly

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