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Anne Sophia Penn Chew's correspondence represents the first major group of letters between women in the Chew Family Papers. Within this series, there are many discussions about marriage and childbirth; even though Anne herself never married and had children, she served as a confidant for many of her relatives. They wrote to her about their fears and apprehensions prior to their marriages, and they shared their joys and their difficulties after the births (and, often, the deaths) of their children.
12/17/08

During the 18th and 19th centuries, a number of travelers would visit the United States from the Near or Middle East, such as "Sheick Shedid Allhazar," (usually referred to simply as 'Sheick Sidi'), said to have been an 'Emir' or Prince of Syria, who visited New York & Pennsylvania, and was said to have received from the Society of Friends, "one hundred pistoles," during his Philadelphia visit in 1739.
12/15/08
In the past few months, there have been an extraordinary number of turkey references in the Chew collection. In celebration of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, Leah and I decided to share some of them here.

The first document is selected from a larger group of surveys, agreements, and correspondence regarding a tract of land the Chews owned called "Turkey Nest."
11/24/08

Captivity narratives abound in early Colonial and post-Colonial American history. Numerous European women were captured by Native-American tribesmen for centuries, some adapting or assimilating within Indian culture, others successfully escaping bondage and thus returning to family & friends, while a few, after long abscences, were ill-received by husband, father or kin, since they had become 'with child,' by their former captors.
11/24/08
Comments: 1
Within Anne Sophia Penn Chew's collection of correspondence are a large number of telegrams. This communication tool was widely employed by Samuel and Mary Johnson Brown Chew. Samuel and Mary split their time between Cliveden and Mary's family home in the city, so their belongings were housed in both places. Many of Mary's letters to Anne describe the day's events, give reports about the children, and, inevitably, ask for some article of clothing to be sent or some task to be completed at Cliveden in her absence.
11/14/08
We came across a few interesting documents in the past few weeks. It was not the information provided within the documents necessarily, but the conservation method performed upon the documents.

The first, front and back:
11/12/08
Comments: 2
Two weeks ago, among the Chew papers, I came across stacks of deed polls, each one of which effectively transferred 400 acres of land from its original owner to J
11/6/08
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Though many may be unaware, November 2008 is 'National Indian Heritage Month,' an opportunity for myself and others to reflect on the diverse role 'Native-Americans' have played in our nation's history.

Later this month, I'll relate a couple of narratives or examples from our collections here at The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, relative to our Native American materials, but within today's post, I'd like to take you on a personal journey or reminiscence.
11/6/08
Comments: 5
In the days before pharmaceuticals, remedies involving food and herbs were often used to augment medical treatments like bleeding and cupping. Many common ailments were treated with prescriptions of lager and port.

In a letter from Elizabeth Johnson Brown to Anne Sophia Penn Chew, she includes her recipe for Onion Syrup, which appears to have been used for respiratory illnesses:
10/27/08