Dudley Chase II



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Dudley Chase writes to his Aunt Olivia about his journeyings through New England.




Dudley Chase, Olivia Chase, New England


Hartford. September 22, 1836.

Dear and respected Aunt,

My room is already “swept and garnished” books all arranged, a place found for every thing, and every thing put in its place; except my poor wandering thoughts, which are in such “proper confusion,” that in every attempt to put them upon paper I get “balked: or to make a more just simile, they are in such a snarl, that if I begin to unravel I am in great danger of pulling the wrong sting, and making bad worse. But as there is a time for every thing under the sun, and the only leisure moments I am likely to have for a few days are now at my disposal, I consider myself bound fulfill my promise to you in doing which I display my egotism you must have patience. I felt Bethel you know on Tuesday as Mr. Russell was so kind as to take me in his wagon to Stockbridge where I had promised Mr. Fay I would spend a few days if possible. Accordingly I remained there Wednesday and Thursday noon got into the stage and rode to Royalston and stopt a Dr. Jo Denisons.

The stage was to start at four in the morning, but about one so strong a light shone in my room that I awakened and dressed in haste supposing I had missed the stage ; and it was not until I had reached the tavern that I discovered that it was the Auroria Borealis- which I had mistaken for the sun rising (a large bow hung over the valley like a cloud of mist tinged with light) and as I had become used to see the sun rise in the north I did not readily detect my error. Arrived without accident at Claremont on Friday now and talked abut four miles to Mrs. Hubbards where I remained during Sunday. Went in the morning to hear Mr. How and in the afternoon Mr. Hoyt who is a graduate of N Yor seminary and is appointed assistant to Mr. How.

On Monday took my trunks across the river but was ten minutes too late for the stage however as it was no affair of love or honor nested comfortably till next day noon and had the company of two fellow students [?]. We arrived at Brattleburough at twelve at night. Next morning started for Hartford at three, and had altogether a pleasant ride. Sometimes lively company, and sometimes dull, sometimes only two or three, and sometimes only fifteen aboard; sometimes indulging in boisterous mirth and sometimes sitting in gloomy silence; each one [?] the train of his own reflections; for which, strange as it is, may appear I take the stage to be a must ‘capital’ place. One’s thought [spurning?] the slow movement of a coach and four fly on the wings of the wind. Mine I must confess turned much upon home. Alas, where is my home verily I am in a straight betwixt three. Shall I call that home which I have never seen, and do not expect to for many a year? Or that home which I can only hope to visit one a year; or where I design to spend the most of four? My heart alone can give answer. Next to the parental roof there is no pace that appears more like home than where I have lately been treated with as much kindness and attention may it continue to appear more and more endearing every time I shall have the pleasure of visiting you. From Claremont downwards we began to see some signs of the temperate zone ‘Jack Frost’ had not been so busy; the [?] was uninjured, and the foliage green and in many places the farmers mowing their second crop, but from the quality of the land I should think they would have to mow it three or four times to equal [?] first. You will not wonder if I tell you that towards the end of my journey I began to feel somewhat impatient especialy when I thought what might await me at the post office. It was not many moments after the stage stoped that I had in my hands fathers letter from Peoria and Mary’s from Juliet, Ill.: The former, though it said nothing about the ‘needful’ which I expected was heartily welcome as it conveyed the assurance of his health and that of the family and said after enduring many hardships he had a length selected a place at which I conclude he will [?] his Seminary. I wil give you his words. Speaking of Lands he had visited 15 miles north west of Peoria, “They are the best for my purposes that I have seen and hold out more substantial advantages to the Institution than any I have Seen or can hear of; accordingly I have about concluded to settle down on them.” My dear Sister mart unites most affectionately and gives a more particular discription of their journeying among the rest she mentions this particular When they started from Gilead she rode “Old Cincinnatus” it being disagreeable for her to ride in a covered wagon. When they had proceeded about sixty miles Old Cincinnatus became too lame to go any further so Father took a [?] and tied it to his neck with this inscription: “My name [is Old] Cincinatus; I belong to P. Chase Gilead now Bishop of Ill: I am eighteen years old and somewhat lame. Let me pass on to Gilead Michigan where I shall be well taken care of through the entire winter as a reward for my past services.”

I need not add dear Aunt that I should be highly gratified if you would favour me with a letter. You must excuse my bluntness and incoherency I am but a novice in the art. I trust it needs not art though to express the interest which I feel in [thy] happiness of yourself and Uncle and all his family especialy since I have become personally acquainted. I should be pleased to hear how the Burlington [heroes] prosper. Hope they bear their honour meekly. Should be pleased to hear the news of Bethel [(?)] and if any changes occur a Randolph. Give my love and respectful regards to all my Aunts Uncles & cousins down to third and fourth generation. I remain ever your affec.’ Nephew. DChase

Letter to Olivia Chase



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