Washington's Pew at St. Paul's, New York

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In some churches, pews were installed at the expense of the congregants, and were their personal property; there was no general public seating in the church itself. In these churches, pew deeds recorded title to the pews, and were used to convey them. Pews were originally purchased from the church by their owners under this system, and the purchase price of the pews went to the costs of building the church. Pictured here is George Washington’s family pew at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in New York.


Benson John Lossing, ed. Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (vol. 10) (New York, NY: Harper and Brothers, 1912)


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