Day Books : 1775-1788, 1797-1818.

Call Number: HIL-MICL FC LFR .C4B4D3
Category: Family
Creator: Chappell, Benjamin, 1740-1825.
Description: 1 microfilm textual records () ; 35 mm
            Benjamin Chappell was born in London, England, in 1740, and was a wheelwright and machinist by trade. With his brother William, he became associated with John Wesley, to the extent that they became Methodist lay preachers. In 1774, Chappell and his wife Elizabeth sailed for Prince Edward Island.  They were members of a group of indentured servants who were recruited by the Quaker merchant, Robert Clark, to settle and develop part of Lot 21, which he had purchased. The first two winters were extremely harsh and food was scarce.   An entry in the Day Book on 19 January 1775 at New London, reveals the sad state of the little group of 129 persons.  In 1778, Chappell moved to Charlottetown where he could use his skills to better advantage. He constructed mansions and boats for several lieutenant governors and other prominent citizens, and in his workshop he built spinning wheels, wagons, sleighs, yokes for oxen, and an array of furniture, implements, and other items which required his particular skill and superior workmanship.  In 1779, he was elected to the House of Assembly, and in 1802 became deputy postmaster. Always a deeply religious man, he held prayer meetings in his home in the absence of a formal place of worship, and kept the spirit of Methodism alive on the Island during those early years of settlement.            
            Benjamin Chappell began the record of his life on Prince Edward Island with an entry in the first Day Book on 19 January 1775, and concluded this Book on 7 January 1788. The second Day Book begins on 2 August 1797, and ends on 23 July 1817, with a few notes for 1818. The latter is also a journal, but with more detailed information about his accounts than is found in the first Day Book. In each entry he records the date, the activity he undertook that day, and usually the weather conditions.   He records the names of people he met or worked for, and how much he was paid or owed, along with births, baptisms, deaths, burials, visitors, and many other events.   Although each entry is brief, he notes how much he accomplished that day on a large project, like a house or boat, and the hours he worked. Similarly, he mentions the smaller items he is crafting in his own workshop, and records the name of each individual who placed an order.   The Day Books reveal a man of many talents, a skilled craftsman and a highly respected citizen.            
Originals: The original Day Books are held by the Public Archives of Prince Edward Island.
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Finding Aids:
            A transcription of "The Daybooks of Benjamin Chappell", Volume One 1775-1788 and Volume Two 1797-1818, is available with The Loyalist Collection print materials, HIL-MICGDL FC 2618 .C53 2003 v. 1 and v. 2.             
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