May 20, 2008

Chew childhood

I find it interesting that the voices of the Chews' children turn up in the collection, usually in the form of writing exercises, like the one below, or a section written on a parent's (usually a mother's) letter to a family member. These glimpses of children are formal since formality was expected in such exercises. However, they do indicate that the Chews' children were eager to please the adults around them and to communicate with loved family members, whether a father away on business or an out-of-town aunt or uncle.

Elizabeth Henrietta Philips, daughter of Henry and Sophia (Chew) Philips, wrote this exercise at the age of eight.

Incidentally, this document also illustrates the Chews' propensity for careful note-taking. The back of this exercise was re-used to make notes on shares of stock, presumably held by Sophia, and used as a wrapper for financial documents.

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