CAPT. REUBEN CHANDLER by Carol May

This Capt. Reuben, if you have been following the newsletters, was the son of Capt. John and brother of Jonathan Chandler.  Capt. John is one of our “mystery” Chandlers, although that veil of mystery is slowly being lifted.  Capt. John is now proven to have been Joseph’s grandson.  Joseph was Edmund, the immigrant’s son.
I wrote previously that Capt. Reuben may have been the Reuben Chandler who married Ann Carnes of Boston. He did name one of his daughter’s Bethiah, which was our Capt. Reuben’s mother’s name. I was hot on the trail, or so I thought, of Bethiah Chandler, who married Benjamin White, when I discovered that I was following the wrong Bethiah and the wrong Benjamin White.  She was Bethiah (Washburn) White born one year later than Bethiah Chandler.  So, close, but the wrong lady. So back to researching.
Reuben’s father-in-law was Capt. John Carnes III.  John came from a seafaring family so we thought that he also was a sea captain.  The title “Captain” came from his service in the Boston Militia where he rose to the rank of lt. colonel and not from being a ship’s captain.
I found out that he was Capt. John Carnes the pewterer and brazier. Not only was he a maker of pewter, he was a very rich pewterer and contemporary of the silversmith and patriot, Paul Revere.  Carnes was the pewter manufacturer of Boston serving not only Boston but exporting his wares as well.  He was to pewter as Revere was to silver.  Only one known pewter item exists that came from Carnes shop and it is in a museum.
Some of you may be familiar with the Big Dig of Boston.  That is a very expensive freeway and transportation project that went on, and perhaps is still going on, in Boston.  While working on the Big Dig, Carnes workshop was unearthed and over 60,000 items were found. The area that they are digging once had wharves, but over the years parts of the harbor were filled in. Many successful businessmen in Boston also owned ships and wharves, so it is possible that Carnes did also.
So, if that was our Reuben Chandler was he a pewter worker?  Or a ship’s captain, perhaps even for his father-in-law?  Did knowledge of blacksmithing carry over into working with pewter? These are question that we don’t have the answer for yet.  Both Reuben and his wife, Ann, seemed to drop out of sight in the 1760s.  Hopefully, we will find out more about this Reuben Chandler and have full article on him in the future.
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