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BEVERLY CHEW 1800 SIGNED Document NEW ORLEANS Businessman, SMUGGLER & Politician

  • August 12, 2023 at 8:04 pm
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BEVERLY CHEW 1800 SIGNED Document NEW ORLEANS Businessman, SMUGGLER & Politician
BEVERLY CHEW 1800 SIGNED Document NEW ORLEANS Businessman, SMUGGLER & Politician
BEVERLY CHEW 1800 SIGNED Document NEW ORLEANS Businessman, SMUGGLER & Politician

BEVERLY CHEW 1800 SIGNED Document NEW ORLEANS Businessman, SMUGGLER & Politician
New Orleans businessman, political appointee & purported smuggler. Additionally endorsed and docketed by his mentor, the Philadelphia merchant Daniel William Coxe. District of Philadelphia, June 6th, 1800. The partially printed “baggage entry” document declares an “Entry made by Beverly Chew of Fredericksburg, Virginia bieing the Property of himself imported in the Snow Experiment, whereof is Master Edward Killey from Port Passage”. The contents are identified as “Two trunks containing wearing apparel”. Chew further signs within the text affirming that the baggage entering the “District of Philadelphia” contains, to the best of my Knowledge and Belief, a just and true Account of the Contents of the two trunks mentioned herien, imported in the Snow Experiment…. ” The document is finally signed by Chew on “this 6th day of June 1800. The baggage entry document is further docketed and signed on the verso by Daniel W. Coxe, under whom Chew apprenticed in Philadelphia. The buff paper is toned with creases, offsetting and darkening to the edges and corners. The document is folded three times horizontally with short tears along the edges of the folds and with several chips and tears along the bottom edge and a small piece chipped out from the bottom right corner. During this time, Chew also learned about financial dealings from William Dunbar, the Natchez plantation owner who moved cotton through Coxe’s firm. Moving to New Orleans, Chew partnered with Richard Relf. A distant cousin of President Thomas Jefferson and also related to William C. Clairborne, Mississippi’s territorial governor, Chew sought and gained political appointments. Initially as a justice of the Court of Common Pleas at New Orleans and then as New Orleans’ first postmaster. Barred by New Orleans’ City Council from importing slaves from the West Indies into the US, Chew smuggled them instead through the Bayou LaFourche. Chew continued in that same vein using contacts with Spanish officials after Federal Law outlawed the importation of African slaves in 1808. Chew had deep ties with British business interests when President Madison appointed him as New Orleans vice consul for Russia in 1812, tasking him to handle trade reciprocity between the two countries. Given that Chew & Relf’s hands were in so many pockets, it’s not surprising that their business suffered few losses from the British blockade of American ports during the War of 1812. Chew subsequently took up arms as a rifleman under General Andrew Jackson during the Battle of New Orleans which followed the British invasion of Louisiana in 1814. As early as 1809, the notorious pirates & privateers Jean & Pierre Lafitte were cutting into Chew & Relf’s smuggling profits and businesses. The Lafitte brothers and Baratarian pirates had received presidential pardons for their assistance during the War of 1812. The privateers were finally pressured into leaving their base at Galveston in 1822 following diplomatic negotiations with Commodore Daniel Patterson and the Lafitte brothers were given safe conduct passes away from Louisiana. Though still president of a bank and with other business interests still providing income, Chew turned bitter against President Jackson’s actions and was further brought down when his past caught up to him in the form of a lawsuit over Daniel Clark’s will which made it all the way to the Supreme Court. When Chew & Relf’s backer Daniel Clark died following an illness back in 1813, a second will mysteriously vanished, leaving Chew & Relf as co-executors of his estate with Clark’s mother named as beneficiary. The “missing” will had named Clark’s daughter Myra Clark Gaines as beneficiary with different executors. The lawsuit became one of the longest-running in history and drained Chew’s financial resources leaving little in his estate upon his death. Much of the Chew biographical information was found in a scholarly article published by Historiaobscura: “Beverly Chew: The Man Behind the Curtain in Early New Orleans” by Pam Keyes. Chew autographs are rare in commerce. I UNCONDITIONALLY GUARANTEE THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE ABOVE AUTOGRAPH! All items are guaranteed authentic and as described. Be sure to add me to your favorites list. Check out my other items.
BEVERLY CHEW 1800 SIGNED Document NEW ORLEANS Businessman, SMUGGLER & Politician