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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing) 4 0 Browse Search
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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Chew, Benjamin 1722- (search)
Chew, Benjamin 1722- Jurist; born in West River, Md., Nov. 29, 1722; settled in Philadelphia in 1745; was recorder in 1755-72; and became chief-justice of Pennsylvania in 1774. During the Revolutionary War he sided with the royalist party, and in 1777 he was imprisoned in Fredericksburg, Va., because he had refused to give a parole. On Oct. 4, 1777, during the battle of Germantown, a British outpost took refuge in his large stone mansion, and the Americans, in order to drive them out, fired on the building with muskets and cannon. The building, however, was too strongly built to be demolished by the 3 and 6 pounder field-pieces of that time. A brigade commanded by Maxwell was left to surround the house, while the main American force pushed on. This incident gave the British time to prepare for the American attack. From 1790 to 1806, when the High Court of Errors and Appeals was abandoned, he was president of that court. He died Jan. 20, 1810. See Germantown, battle of.
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Quakers. (search)
hat when the enemy were pressing on towards Philadelphia in December, 1777, a certain seditious publication, addressed To our Friends and Brethren in Religious Profession in these and the adjacent Provinces, signed John Pemberton, in and on behalf of the Meeting of sufferings, held in Philadelphia, Dec. 26, 1776, had been widely circulated among Friends throughout the States. At the same time the Congress instructed the board of war to send to Fredericksburg John Penn, the governor, and Benjamin Chew, chief-justice of Pennsylvania, for safe custody. While the British army was in Philadelphia in 1778, Joseph Galloway, an active Tory, and others employed John Roberts and Abraham Carlisle, members of the Society of Friends, as secret agents in detecting foes to the British government. Carlisle was a sort of inquisitorgeneral, watching at the entrances to the city, pointing out and causing the arrest of Whigs, who were first cast into prison and then granted permission to pass the line