Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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CHALKLY, Thomas, preacher, born in London, England, 3 March, 1675; died in Tortola, West Indies, 4 September, 1741. His parents belonged to the sect of Friends, and he was brought up in that faith. He was sent to school in the suburbs of London, at some distance from his home, and was frequently beaten and stoned by those of opposing beliefs. In 1695 he was pressed on board of a man-of-war, but on being asked to fight, refused, saying: "As for war and fighting, Christ forbade it in his excellent Sermon on the Mount, and for that reason I could not bear arms nor be instrumental to destroy or kill men." After serving an apprenticeship of seven years to his father, he followed his calling for a short time, and then began his career as an itinerant preacher, traveling throughout England. He determined to visit America, landed in Maryland in 1698, and spent a year preaching in Virginia and New England. Subsequently he returned to England, married, and, after journeying through Ireland, he decided to settle permanently in America. He selected Philadelphia as his home, and made preaching tours to the Barbadoes, and through Maryland, North Carolina, and Rhode Island, at times riding 1,000 miles on horseback. He continued his work till 1707. and in that year again visited the Barbadoes, sailing thence to Great Britain, and, after a visit to Holland and Germany, returned to Philadelphia. His death was the result of a fever contracted while on one of his visits to the West Indies. The library of the four monthly meetings of Friends in Philadelphia was founded by a bequest from him. He left an interesting journal of his "Life, Labors, and Travels," which was published with a collection of his tracts (Philadelphia, 1747; New York, 1808).
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