Dudley Chase II



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Dudley Chase responds to an invitation to his aunt's home and updates her on his entry into college and the time he has spent as a farmer since his father founded Gambier.




Dudley Chase II, Gambier


Hartford January 29, 1836

My dear aunt,

Your kind letter gave me as much pleasure as the favour was unexpected. I did not know but that you had forgotten the thoughtless boy you saw at Gambier: but this proves my mistake and your affection. It would give me the greatest pleasure to accept of your kind invitation and I hope I shall be able to do so for certainly there is nothing I have looked forward to in coming to N.C. with greater pleasure than the hope of meeting with you, whose affection I have known and becoming acquainted with those other dear relations of whom I have heard so much.

The permission which my father gave me just before he sailed for England to come here and prepare for college was quite unexpected to me though I had always hoped at some future day to visit the land of my birth. I little expected it then as the word seemed to be [?]: to the West the far west. But I gladly availed myself of the opportunity of getting an education for I though it was better late than never. How I shall succeed remains to be proved. I find in Hartford many kind friends of my fathers for whose their kindness to me for his sake I have reason to be very grateful and I have found no reason to regret leaving home except in the last distressing news which I [heard] [you] there that their dwelling was destroyed by fire and though I know my mother’s fortitude, and though she says they saved their most valuable things; and had another shelter to retreat to and plenty of provision left. Still I could not but feel anxious on their account, and wish that I was with them where I might be of some assistance instead of being here a burden. But it was the will of Providence who mercifully spared their lives and if the are cheerful and resigned why should I not be so too.

I have a thousand things to say my dear aunt which I can but too poorly express in before and a thousand questions to ask which I must defer till the time (and I hope that is not far distant when I shall have the pleasure of seeing you.

If I should remain with you while preparing for College would I not friend too great a temptation to neglect my books? Perhaps, though the desire to merit the approbation of my friends would have the opposite effect, and the example and encouragement of Cousin Dudley would incite me to diligence: one thing I know that nothing could be more agreeable to my feelings. And if my friends permit upon [?] will I am [?] despondent I shall certainly accept of your kind invitation, but if it cannot [?] I shall still remain as ever your affectionate Nephew Dudley.

Dear Sir,

In answer to your kind inquiries concerning my preparation for College I am ashamed to confess that I know so little. Ever since my Father left Gambier I have devoted almost all my time to farming, and have paid little attention ot the cultivation of my mind; so that it will probably take me till next fall when I expected to enter here. If [i]t is agreeable to those who placed me here I should greatly prefer spending the intervening time at your house, for in addition to the pleasure of your society I think I should have the letter instruction. For here there being no [?] there is no regular teacher to the introductory clas as it is called but each member recites to whoever he pleases in the higher classes. And it is not the most pleasant thing to have the honour of being a [subfresh] in such an institution as this. It would be much more in accordance with my own feeling to have the company of your son and the society of your family. The next time I hear from home I shall be able to determine whether to accept your very kind offer. If this cannot be; I shall be not less your obliged and [affect.]

Nephew Dudley Chase

Letters to Rachel & Joseph Denison



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