Chetwood graduated from Princeton College in 1792, where he studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1796 and commenced practice in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He served as prosecutor of the pleas for Essex County, became a member of the State Council of New Jersey, was a major of militia and served in the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 as aide-de-camp to Major General Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee.
Chetwood was elected as a Whig (at the time, a coalition of National Republican Party members) to the Twenty-fourth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Philemon Dickerson. He served in Congress from December 5, 1836 to March 3, 1837, afterward resuming the practice of law. In 1841 and 1842 he was elected to the New Jersey Legislative Council from Essex County, New Jersey.
He died at the age of 86 and was interred in Hillside's Evergreen Cemetery.
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
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