Sophia Chase



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Sophia laments the lack of sympathy for Philander's cause in England. She fills Philander in on two letters received for him: one from the Episcopalians of Lower Alton, Illinois seeking his expertise in forming a congregation, another from Judge John Worthington, seeking a clergyman. She also updates him on the wellbeing of their children and others in Michigan.




Dudley Chase, New York, Detroit, Chicago, Mr. Trowbridge, Dr. Rudd, Dr. Jarvis, Lower Alton, Samuel Chase, John W. Chickening, Judge Worthington, Beardstown, Henry Chase, Mary Chase, Philander Chase Jr., Mrs. Russel, Mrs. Russell, Sarah Chase, Springfield, Jane, Mr. Glass, Albert Glass


Gilead M. [I.] Nov 23d 1835

My dear Husband

I have not written since Dudley left here Oct 23d he took a letter to forward from New York. I am ashamed so long a time has elapsed without sending a line, but waited in hopes of hearing from him, as yet we only know he arrived safe in Detroit just in time to stop the box sent from New York from being shipped to Chicago. Mr Trowbridge said he had recieved [sic] no directions with it and seeing by an article in the paper that the family had removed to Illinois he had ordered it on, it still remains in Detroit but I think an opportunity will be found next week to send for it.

By the Church[men] I am grieved to see your visit to England opposed on the old ground of its being derogatory to the honour of the Church to ask Foreign aid. Is it not astonishing that this opposition comes from that [part] of the American church that owes its all to British endorsements - [Dr] Rudd, and the Southern Churchmen join in condemning the measure. It is however no small satisfaction to see the able pen of [Dr] Jarvis employed in your defence - you have I doubt not the hearts and prayers of very many sincere christians, and if it is Gods gracious will that his word and sacraments shall be given to the thousands now wandering in the wilderness - who shall hinger? Vain is the opposition of man - God will I doubt not enable you to go forward, open the hearts of Englishmen to the wants of their own exiled Countrymen, and their christian liberality shame those who oppose the [spectre] [National] honour to the furtherance of so blessed a work. The Episcopalians of Lower Alton Ill. have entered into articles of association to form a PE Congregation [around] of their meetings held Sept 13-15 is forwarded here, supposing you at home. After speaking of the growing importance of Lower Alton they say - “We are extremely desirous of procuring a minister upon whom we could constantly depend - and know of no means of doing so except through you - one would receive a good support. You will perceive to me is appointed the duty of calling a future meeting - I have almost concluded to defer it until we can have the councel [sic] of yourself or some other Clergyman of experience and judgement - at the same time I am deeply impressed with the necessity of prosecuting immediate measures. There is a diffidence among them all as regards taking part in public religious exercises. I fear none of them will consent to do so. This increases the necessity of speedily procuring a pastor. Should it be possible for the Revd. Saml. Chase to visit us previous to your return (should that be delayed) it would be highly gratifying to us. Thus sir have I have endeavored to give you a brief statement of our situation, and would end by a sequel that you would bearus in remembrance in your prayers - that you would aid us with your advice and as soon as consistent with your many other pressing engagements favor us with your presence”


John W. Chickening

This passed through Samuels hands so perhaps he will go. There is also a letter from Judge Worthington a very affectionate one but too long to copy it is in answer to one from you dated Phil It is a pressing call for a Clergyman (extract) I do not think the Miss. board could possible make an appointment abroad more promising of good than at this place and Beardstown and [yet] unless from the Miss. board we can have no hopes or prospect of a pastor, we are not able to offer a pecuniary inducement and if we could; a man that could be induced in that way would not suit us. But if a situation in a new and and [sic] almost boundless (in resources) country in a Village healthy and flourishing. With a [feild] of usefulness wide extended and extending where the people are not only willing to learn the doctrines of our Church but with extended hands are anxiously crying give us a Teacher” I must omit a page of the same speaking of their Chapel he says. “How ever plain and humble it may be, yet we are determined to finish it as nearly as we can and when it is finished and consecrated to God if it then remain unoccupied because no priest will enter therein to possess it - it will be a new thing under the Sun. A new thing in the history of our Church - may God fill it this winter is the prayer of many hearts truly devoted to the church and more anxious for their own salvation” _____ “To enable you to remove more speedily to the field of your future labour permit[s] me to subscribe [$]50 - which I will pay on sight” &cc John [T.] Worthington

I will answer this good mans letter when I am so happy as to hear of your safe arrival in Engd. You will be delighted to hear that our dear children are all well and in every respect conduct themselves as you could wish. Since Dudley left Henry feels himself in a very responsible station sees to everything and is a pattern of industry he reads in the evening but cannot yet give up any part of the day. Mary writes and reads daily makes improvement and is [I] humble [?] not without serious thoughts. Philander is very anxious I should give you a good account of him. That he keeps me in good [fires] writes reads, and cyphers, all which is true. Mrs Russel is quite well and anxious as ever for your prosperity - among the items of good news let me not forget that Sarah has a little daughter born Oct 20th, she was doing well four days after, and experiencing much kindness from the Ladies of I. - they were at housekeeping and Saml. wrote in good spirits he had received your letter previous to your embarking and seemed quite affected at the toils you had to encounter - the library had arrived at Springfield, covered with dry mould but not materially injured.

You will feel desirous to know how we spend the Sunday since Dudley left us - our little company Mrs Russell, Jane the three children and myself meet in my my [sic] room, we go through the prayers, sing and read a sermon and again in the afternoon the evening service - the boys have never evinced the slightest desire to deviate from this our old custom - this is a great happiness to me, and I trust the blessing promised to two or three assembled in the name of the Lord is with us.

Mr Glass’s family are able to help themselves and in pleasant weather to [husk] a little; except Albert who is again down with the ague. The fall has been very pleasant last monday it set in pretty cold and to day the snow [lies] 4 inches deep to day. Mrs R. and the children all beg me to send love to dear Father with best wishes and prayers for your safety

I remain your Affec. Wife

S.M. Chase

Letter to Philander Chase



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