SINNICKSON CHEW was born January 27, 1830, in Mannington township,
Salem County NJ, where his parents then resided. His Christian
name indicates his ancestry as being of the Swedes, who settled
shores of the Delaware River as early as 1638, long before the
English or Dutch saw the land. Among
those who received deeds from John Fenwick to confirm their
title, the names of Sinnic, Sinnica, and Sinnicker occur, and
the records of Upland Court (on the opposite side of the river),
which date back to 1676, show this name among the litigants
before that tribunal.
blood of the early comers was diffused among the English
as a consequence the name followed the line of relationship and
was gradually changed to the present spelling. The
direct and collateral branches of the family have always been
prominent in the affairs of church and State and still have a
firm hold upon the confidence and good opinion of the people in
Equipped with such education as could be gathered there from the country schools and fancying the business
of a printer, Sinnickson Chew, in 1845, entered the office of the Constitution, published at Woodbury, N.J.,
by A.S. Barber.
Here he soon mastered the "art and mystery," and in due time became the "post boy" to the office. With a
horse and sulky he rode the length and breadth of the counties of Camden and Gloucester, distributing the news
of the week at every store and crossroads, where he was a welcome visitor.
Perhaps the poet can better describe him as he--
Who whistles as he goes,--light-hearted wretch,
Cold, and yet cheerful, messenger of grief
Perhaps to thousands, and of joy to some:
To him indifferent whether grief or joy."
In 1851 he left his master's employ and went to Philadelphia, in the composing department of the type foundry
of L. Johnson & CO., but the same year he became connected with the National Standard, of Salem NJ, Charles
P. Smith, editor. In a short time, associated with William S. Sharp, he purchased this paper and continued its
publication, under the firm-name of Sharp & Chew, until 1862, when he made overtures for the purchase of the
State Gazette, at Trenton NJ. In this he was defeated by Jacob R. Freese, at that time, the lessee, and soon
after (May, 1862) he bought the entire interest of the West Jersey Press, of Camden, and became its editor
and publisher. He soon infused new life into this journal and made it the leading Republican paper in the western
part of the State.
Although a forcible writer, and firm in his political convictions, yet he concedes to his opponents the right
to their own line of thought. He never loses sight of the great moral necessities of the times, nor will he
sacrifice them even when a political advantage is at stake. His paper is always a means to discuss local or
general topics, but not open to personalities or questionable correspondence. With such a reputation, the West
Jersey Press is regarded as a safe medium of county news, and is read by all who are in full faith with its political
notions, and by many who neither think nor vote as the editor would advise.
For three years, from 1872, he was consecutively elected by the House of Assembly of New Jersey to the
responsible position of clerk of that body, and was conceded by his political opponents to have been courteous
and polite to all. His fidelity to his political friends is strong and lasting, and his devotion to the principles of
the political party of which he is an honored member, is well known throughout his native state. His tact and
energy are evidenced in the erection of the "Press" building, where he conducts an active business, giving
personal attention to the details of the various kinds of work, and not neglecting improvements that aid so
much in speed and finish.
As one of the active members of the Editorial Association of New Jersey, Mr. Chew has brought about
many improvements in the working of that body. The business meetings bring the members into closer
intercourse, and the annual excursion are popular and make friendships where otherwise none would exist.
On May 8, 1860, Mr. Chew married Sarah A., daughter of Samuel W. Miller, then sheriff of Salem County.
His surviving children are Lillie M., the wife of Oliver Smith, Jr., William H., and Eddie H. Chew