Ongoing Research


Chew family members over the generations wrote extensive records, accounts, journals and correspondence. More importantly, they never threw any of it away. The Chew Papers, comprised of over 200,000 documents, were found in the house when it was given to the National Trust in the 1970s. The documents, ranging from Benjamin Chew’s father all the way down to Samuel Chew V and covering almost every Chew in between, include the oldest map of Pennsylvania, accounts of Chew slaves, records of seances held in the house, and commentary on almost every significant issue in American History. Currently residing at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in downtown Philadelphia, research on the Chew Papers continues to be conducted and new information is discovered often. Below you’ll find a list of various accounts and findings from the Papers.

Benjamin Chew receipt book, 1770 – 1809 Book documenting many expenses and business contacts of Benjamin Chew, includes receipts for construction and repair, farm work, domestic servant wages, housekeeping expenses, and more.

Chew family slaves, 1700s – 1820s More than 400 slave records compiled from information in the Chew Family Papers collection at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Entries include enslaved person’s name, location, age, date of birth, names of relatives, and other owner comments.

For a summary of Chew Family slaves and servants, download: Invisible Hands: Slaves and Servants of the Chew Family for information regarding the workers who toiled at Cliveden to support the wealth and prestige of the Chews

The City Home of Benjamin Chew, Sr., and his Family A Case Study of the Textures of Life, 1771 – 1819 The family life inside of Benjamin Chew’s 3rd Street townhouse in Society Hill.

Chew Family Chronology A chronology of many Chew family events, and other happenings in Philadelphia.

The Chew Mansion in Germantown, 1760 – 1970 Documentation contains information on the activities of the Chew family, including information about the construction of Cliveden.

Cliveden Bibliography Extensive listing of sources related to Cliveden and the Chew Family.

Documentary References to Chew Family Furnishings and Lifestyle, 1867-1892 A complete transcription of copybook owned by Samuel Chew (1832 – 1887). This is a Great example of daily expenditures for an upper class family of the period.

Historic American Buildings Survey This includes full-size drawings and large-format photographs of Cliveden’s architecture.

Mary Johnson Brown Chew Collection, 1873-1915 Records and memorabilia related to the restoration of Independence Hall, currently held at Independence National Historic Park.

Cliveden: Legacy of the Chew Women of Germantown History of women in the Chew Family.

Chew family census records, 1790 – 1930 Statistical data relating to the Chew family and residing servants at Cliveden.

Chew family census records 1790

Chew family census records 1800

Chew family census records 1810