Thomas J. Chew family papers  1797-1875 (bulk 1802-1857)
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Additional Descriptive Data

Documents Series Itemized List

  • A letter of recommendation for John Grace regarding his acceptable service on the President , written and signed by Isaac Chauncey, dated July 7, 1802.
  • A letter from William Berry, midshipman on the Chesapeake , authorizing Tunis Craven to receive any prize money on his behalf, dated March 17, 1813 and witnessed by S. Dashwood and George L. Storey.
  • A pass authorized by a British Agent for Prisoners of War, allowing Thomas J. Chew to walk freely within one mile of his lodgings in Halifax, Nova Scotia, dated June 7, 1813 and containing identifying physical information.
  • A certificate releasing Thomas J. Chew from his captivity as a prisoner of war of the British, allowing him to proceed from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Boston, Massachusetts, signed and dated June 17, 1813, including identifying physical information about Thomas J. Chew
  • A document, notarized by Anthony Woodward, appointing Edwin Hicks as attorney for Silas H. Stringham, signed by Silas H. Stringham and dated January 19, 1824; including an addendum of April 27, 1825 noting the receipt of $51.03 prize money from Thomas J. Chew.
  • A document from the Surrogate's Office at Flatbush, Kings County, New York, appointing Thomas J. Chew guardian of Julia Evans following the death of Samuel Evans, signed by Jeremiah Lott and dated June 12, 1826.
  • Inventory and Trial Balance of the Protection Fire Insurance Company, New York, dated August 4, 1830 and including a September 4, 1830 addendum regarding the resignation of Thomas J. Chew from the Presidency of the company, signed by his successor Benjamin Huntington.
  • A letter signed by Levi Woodbury, Secretary of the Navy, accepting Thomas J. Chew's resignation as a Purser in the United States Navy, dated March 15, 1832.
  • A petition swearing allegiance to the United States Constitution, including two signatures from Hancock County, dated April 23, 1838, and August 1, 1838.

Account Books Series Itemized List

  • Miscellaneous Accounts, 1814
  • Accounts for USS Washington , 1815-1831; St. Anne's Church, Brooklyn, New York, 1834-1837; United States Naval Fraternal Association for the relief of families of Deceased Officers, 1820-1821; Contingent Fund for defraying the Expenses of the Convention of United States Naval Fraternal Association, 1820; Contingent Account of the United States Naval Fraternal Association, 1820; Amount of Fees received from Members of the United States Naval Fraternal Organization &c., 1820.
  • Sunday Accounts [Director] to Navy Department for Balances due them; Sunday Accounts for balances overpaid them Transferred.

Miscellaneous Series Itemized List

  • May 6, 1828 invitation for James Lawrence Chew to attend the Junior Ball at Yale University.
  • A death notice for George Richards Lewis.
  • A long poem composed on the death of Mary Hallam.
  • A short poem entitled "Contented Shepherd."
  • An account of the "Cure for Deafness" for a specific individual.
  • A description of the many medicinal properties of "The Bone Plant from Africa."
  • A partial family tree for a branch of the Chew family not including Thomas J. Chew or his immediate relatives.
Related Materials

The following collections contain letters from and concerning Chew's naval career:

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania possesses a large collection of Chew family papers, related to the Pennsylvania and Maryland branches of the family.


Chew, Thomas J. Chesapeake and Shannon: a list of the killed and wounded on board the Chesapeake. Boston: Printed by Nathaniel Coverly, 1814.

Leighton, Douglas. Joseph Chew. In Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online, 2000.

Leiner, Frederick C. The Squadron Commander's Share: Decatur v. Chew and the Prize Money for the Chesapeake's First War of 1812 Cruise. In The Journal of Military History, vol. 73, no. 1, 2009. Pages 69-82.

Navy Department Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Naval History Division. Chew. In Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (vol. 2, p. 100). Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1963.