Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Benjamin Chew, Esq. (1722-1810) was a fifth generation American: a patriot, a traitor, an Anglican, a Quaker, and the father of a dozen daughters. He had a lifelong personal friendship with George Washington, who is said to have treated Chew’s children “as if they were his own.”
Trained in law at an early age by Andrew Hamilton, Benjamin Chew inherited Hamilton’s clients, the descendants of William Penn (including his sons Thomas and Richard, and their sons Governor John Penn, Richard, Jr., and John Penn). For the next six decades, Chew quietly untied crucial legal and political knots, and by doing so, facilitated the growing sense of personal freedom that led directly to the American Revolution.