Philander Chase



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Philander chase describes his new living situation on the frontier in Illinois, and asks his nephew Intrepid Morse to send him some seeds to start a new garden.




Philander Chase, Intrepid Morse, Robins Nest, Illinois, garden


Robins Nest, in Township 10. Range 6. East [91] Miles E. of Peoria Illinois on Sep 5. 1836

Dear Nephew,

You will laugh when reading the place of my date; but it is nevertheless true in all its particulars. My nearest Post Town is at present Peoria. Of which information I hope you will soon avail yourself.

If you ask who are with me: I can answer those who love you dearly-- the same as have accompanied me in all my wanderings, with the exception of the absence of Dudley who is at Hartford in Connect. And the presence of James Hamilton a young and faithful & Christian domestic whom we have attached to the interests of our family that the invited on accompanying us from Gilead to this Diocese.

If you should still inquire what is our situation the ans. w’d be more difficult. It is on the frontier of one and far distant from another settlement and the only [?] we have to live in was a few weeks ago growing in the trees of the wood. Two small cabins were reared by two brothers, squatters on Congress lands; and when they were yet without floors or windows or doors or [?] or chimneys I bought them & the privileges attached which [can] nothing more than common [?] to go on unmolested. One of these Cabins I unroofed & tore down and drew to the plane of the other and there [?] it again thus making what is called a double cabin with a 12 ft. share. In this space I put up a Rotary cooking stove & in one of the cabins lay a floor and place a franklin stove with a grate in it for the burning of coal of which there is an abundance on this place.

I have a carpenter now at work in lawing the floor of the other part on east cabin and we hope to have things soon in a comfortable way for new beginners oven. Though they be not young (as [once]) to bear depreciation & toil. Mrs Chase I am sorry to tell you is guilt sick. Her great desire to be useful while she was an itinerant in the neighborhood & to minister to the sick exhausted her too [?] and she now has the fever. It’s violence however begins to subside and we hope for the best. The [presence] of Mrs. Russell & Mary and the boys lately arrived from Juliet (where they were left while we were exploring the country & fixing our place of residence) contributes much to the comfort and peace of mind of my dear wife and now we have moved to our home (a very dear word) I repeat the hope I have she will recover soon. I am now writing this by her bedside as she dozes in a feverish sleep.

dear Intrepid what should I now do if it were not for our Holy faith! As it is I am calm and feel a support which the world knows nothing of. Futurity hath the promises. The present hath duties but few enjoyments but those which look forward.

Will you send me by some friend coming directly to Peoria-- Garden seeds of all sorts Those which you sent to Gilead to supply the place of those which were burned with our house did not come to hand: Will you send me also a peck of apple seeds-- As of Black Locust seed. One Bushel of orchard grapeseed: and as many trees peaches hair, plumbs, cherries, & grafted apple trees in a young & small & tall as you can spare.

If this letter should reach you soon and the opportunity sh’d speedily occur of sending them all these things may reach me before cold weather should set [in] [es]pecially if the roots of the trees be well secured with [math].

I have purpose by omitted saying everything about my Epis. School. Of this I hope I have much good news in store. Write soon to me. Give all love to those who [?] under your roof and are most dear to your loving wife. P.C.

Letter to Intrepid Morse



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