Philander Chase



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Philander Chase worries about his nephew Samuel's health and explains his preparations for a winter cabin in Peoria.




Philander Chase, Samuel Chase, Peoria


Peoria August 20th 1836

Dear Samuel,

Both Mrs. Chase and myself are very much distressed by not hearing from you at least thro’ the last evening’s mail: What can be the matter? Nothing can acc’t for your silence but sickness. “He will come and see us or write to us” said we to ourselves as we rode thro’ the lone woods & over the extended uninhabited Prairies 20 miles yesterday in order to reach this place before dark. Many whom we saw while coming into Town, we [?] to be you: but our disappointment was completed only at the P.O. just after the Springfield Mail was opened when it was told us no letters from your nephew! We turned with a sorrowful heart towards Mr. Garret’s (he lives in a small house at the upper end of the town) but found him yet suffering under the effects of an inflammatory Rheumatism: and under such circumstances his house too small to accommodate us. Judge Bigelow had left compliments inviting us to his house-- Judge [Herst] went along to introduce us. We spent the night agreeably: and this morning went forth in quest of Stoves bedspreads & other furniture for our Winters’ dwelling. And where you’ll ask is this? Answer-- in the South half of section 36- Township 10- Range 6- east of the Principal meridian. Peoria County, Illinois. Here we pitch out Tent for the winter till the great matter of obtaining the grant from Congress of purchasing lands suitable for the Seminary at the minimum price. If we succeed in this project all will be as it should be. If not we have but to seek some other place. While this is determining our dear family must have at least a way-faring residence for the winter. To accomplish this therefore we exert all our efforts. Henry (God bless him for his manly conduct) has gone to Juliet for Mrs. Russell and Mary Philander & Jane and is expected to return next week on Thursday or Friday. In the meantime, having purchased at my own risk a claim and Tax title to some land as above on which is an unfinished Cabin, I am endeavouring to put things in order for their reception. This I find a task indeed:

Could I have had your company and advice methings my burden would be lighter. But this helping is denied me and under circumstances of painful anxiety as to your health and that of your dear little daughter. Even Mrs. Chase your aunt’s health is by no means good as I would wish. For a few days past she has suffered thro’ weakness and want of many comforts in the crowded Cabins in which (the best there could be had) she has found shelter. As to myself you know I was born to suffer in this way and am used to it. Sleep often, however, flees from me and the long night not infrequently among clouds of mosquitoes passes heavily away--

Tomorrow I am to preach for the Third time here in Peoria since I came. All seem to be pleased at the thoughts of constant services and I have reasoning ot hope the Church will be benefited by our exertions.

But your health-- your health is the great thing which [?] the minds of Mrs C. & myself, Why does not Sarah write us if you are to ill to do so? Why keep us in this suspense? Tell her to do so- and that immediately. If there should be danger; I will fly to you on the wind’s wings but remember what is to be done here: Our family having no where to go must suffer in the unfinished-- the now unroofed Cabin be not part shared for us in Peoria or vicinity. I do not complain at this. My Saviour had not where to lay his head. P. Chase

Letter to Samuel Chase



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