Thanks to the generosity of George F. Sanborn Jr., a descendant of both Aquila and Thomas Chase, the Aquila Chase Tablet is now on display at the Newburyport Public Library. Carved from Caen stone, a cream-colored limestone, and highlighted with gold paint, the tablet commemorates Aquila Chase's settling in Hampton, N.H., in 1640 and Newbury in 1646. This is the first time the tablet has been on display to the public for more than 40 years.
The tablet was carved in 1924 to honor one of the first settlers of Newburyport, Aquila Chase. The tablet was first donated to the New England Genealogical Society in Boston by John Carrol Chase in 1924 to honor his ancestor. It was on display at the Society until 1964 when it was placed in storage. In 1989 the Society gave the tablet to a society trustee who later gave it to a Chase descendant. Still later, it passed to another descendant and eventually ended in the possession of George F. Sanborn Jr., a descendant of both Aquila and Thomas Chase and a former employee of the New England Genealogical Society. Sanborn recently donated it to the Sons and Daughters of the First Settlers of Newbury who, in turn, arranged for display in the local library.
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