Cliveden Conversations

Join Cliveden for thought-provoking programming & discussion.


Finding Black Families: Stories from The Chew Family Papers

Tuesday, February 22, 2022 | 6:30pm on Zoom

Spread throughout the 288.5 linear feet of The Chew Family Papers at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania is the evidence of the lives of early American Black families, free and enslaved. This conversation with Cliveden of the National Trust, the African American Genealogy Group, and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania will share discoveries arising from a recent collaboration to illuminate these hidden lives. 

Program Speakers

Andrew Williams, Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Andrew Williams is the Digital Services Archivist at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, where he manages and makes available HSP's digitized collections. He previously worked as a project archivist at the University of Pennsylvania before joining the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in 2018 to digitize collections related to women's history for the In Her Own Right project. Andrew earned his Bachelor's in History at Ursinus College in 2013, and his Master's in Byzantine and Late Antique Studies at the University of Oxford in 2015. He is currently working towards his Master of Library and Information Science degree through the University of Pittsburgh, with a focus on archives and digital preservation. 

Adrienne G. Whaley, African American Genealogy Group

Adrienne G. Whaley is an educator and history-lover who currently serves as Director of Educator and Community Engagement at the Museum of the American Revolution. Adrienne earned her Bachelor's degree in African American Studies from Harvard University and her Master's in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked in both art and history museums, including the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the African American Museum in Philadelphia, and the Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum. She carries her love of history and for uncovering the stories of common people into her spare time as an avid genealogist researching her own family history and as Programming Chair and former President of Philadelphia's African American Genealogy Group. As both a museum educator and as a genealogist, she has presented on television and in workshops and conferences both locally and nationally. 

Carolyn Wallace, Cliveden of the National Trust

Carolyn Wallace received a BA in History and Art History from Ursinus College and a MA in American Fine and Decorative Arts from Sotheby's Institute of Art in New York. After a short time as a Cataloguer for Samuel T. Freeman & Co, she spent 4 years working with sties in Historic Germantown, including as a guide for the award-winning History Hunters Youth Reporter Program, and Program Coordinator for Historic Germantown, the consortium of 18 historic sites in Northwest Philadelphia. Carolyn started at Cliveden in 2012 as the Museum Coordinator. As Education Director, she is focused on research and interpretation of diverse narratives, collections management and programming for youth and adults. 

Project Participants

The African American Genealogy Group

The African American Genealogy Group was founded in January 1989 in response to the ever-increasing number of people who expressed a desire to research their family “roots.” Our mission is to educate, provide resources, and create a community for anyone interested in African American family history and genealogical research. Based in Philadelphia, PA and with a membership largely from the Tri-State region, we serve those who are interested in researching their family history locally, regionally, and nationally.

Cliveden of the National Trust

Built as a country house for attorney Benjamin Chew, Cliveden was completed in 1767 and was home to seven generations of the Chew family. Cliveden has long been famous as the site of the American Revolutionary War Battle of Germantown in 1777, as well as for its Georgian architecture. New research is unearthing a more complicated history at Cliveden, which involves layers of significance, including the lives of those who were enslaved and in service to the Chew family. This information broadens the meaning of Cliveden as a preserved historic place, exploring themes and stories of American identity and freedom. Traces of the history of the Cliveden property and its occupants can be found throughout the five acre woody landscape.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, founded in 1824, is one of the nation’s largest archives of historical documents. We are proud to serve as Philadelphia’s Library of American History, with over 21 million manuscripts, books, and graphic images encompassing centuries of US history. Through educator workshops, research opportunities, public programs, and lectures throughout the year, we strive to make history relevant and exhilarating to all. For more information, visit

This project was funded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Interpretation and Education Endowed Fund that was made possible by a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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