When I arrived this morning, I felt confident that I would finish processing Benjamin Chew's legal papers. I had a few stacks, a few boxes with newly labeled folders, and some miscellaneous documents that still needed a place. I had one mysterious folder with only covers from letters and legal documents. I wondered "where are the documents that go with the covers?" I decided to look in another series that I had shifted. There were the letters and a bunch of new material related to an estate that Benjamin Chew administered. So much for the day's plan!
In the midst of these papers, there were some juicy bits of correspondence such as Samuel Chew's discussion of his upcoming conference with Quaker leaders about his daughter's marriage outside the faith:
"Breach of order & Discipline indeed always makes the by when one of Christ's Lambs gets out of the Fold, & they must act a Farce even when they are pleased at the Thing. It is upon this Ground that I am the Subject of Church Dealing for consenting to Betsey's Marriage to one of a different Persuation by the Hands of a Priest. I have had two Embassies from as many monthly meetings, to both which I behaved with great Civility & Decorum ..." Later in the letter, he refers to the fact that he was instructed to admit his error "from under my Hand or make my personal appearance at their Little vile Monthly Meeting." [Samuel Chew (1693-1744) to Edward Tilghman (1713-1785), July 29th 1741]
He was certainly not a man to keep his opinions to himself.