Philander Chase



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Philander Chase updates Rebecca Morse on his life at Robins Nest and tells her to thanks Intrepid Morse once again for the garden seeds.




Philander Chase, Rebecca Morse, Intrepid Morse, Illinois, garden


To Mrs. Rebecca Morse

Steubenville, Ohio

Robinsnest, Peoria County Ill:

June 5, 1837

My dear Daughter:

It is a great while since I have re’d a letter from under your dear hand: but I do not love you the less because of and interruption in our correspondence. Nothing but ceasing to thing and to remember and to feel the tenderness of our relationship can make me leave loving you and dear Mary my grand Daughter. As time rolls on and distance separates us and the gray hairs of age grow thinner on my head and the furrows of care grow deeper in my face, my heart seems to grow warmer & more alive to every affectionate reminiscence. Is this second childhood? If it be I desire to be a child again: for never can I bear the thought of unfeeling hard heartedness. I know you join me in this sentiment: and so will go on with my letter: and tell you what I think will give you pleasure. We are all well at the Robinsnest and very bust in discharging our duties. First of all, Mrs. C. my dear Wife is by my side busy in making a coat for Henry. Mrs. Russell is in the next toom holding a very interesting conversation with her sweet grand Daughter Lucia Sophia pleasantly nicknamed “Fide” a great “Pet” among us all I’ll assure you. “Sarah” is in her room listening to all her beloved child is endeavouring to say and with maternal partiality laughing at her green expressions. Mrs. S. Chase is in the school room patiently inculcating knowledge in the heads of any poor backward children, Henry, Mary & Philander. Indeed they are very backward in their learning owing not to their want of capacity but to their being called off from their studies in so much by that want of all tyrants NECESSITY. But I am determined he shall bear rule no longer over them. The Garden Fence is now completed: and the Field is now inclosed, the ground about 30 acres is now ploughed and planted and the hopes of a crop to keep us from starving are now promising. So that I have reason to expect my boy & my lovely daughter will have time to get their education.

You will ask, perhaps, something concerning myself-- Indeed, Rebecca, this is a hard matter to speak on. Do you inquire how I spend my time? In the first place old as I am I rise before any one else in the house the working hands (commonly more than four in number) not excepted. I then call the boys over that water & fuel are provided for breakfast: then set each their task, and often it is necessary that I go before them & tell them how to begin to do their work. Then comes the blessed time when all gather to hear the board and to pray to Him in whose hands we are & who is the author of all mercies. Then follow the duties of the day gardening & ditching--ploughing and planting. But as I said this is pretty much over now: and the time of more rest to my weary limbs is at hand. Even as it has been and is, I find time to read & to write in my poor way and to preach and to pray as you may see by reading my address to the Convention the journal of which I send you. Last sunday the second after my return from Springfield I confirmed several persons near Peoria & administered the Lords supper to 10 devout persons, besides reading prayers and delivering a sermon & talking long time in explanation of the Service and in exhorting the Congregation to fervency in devotion.

Next sunday I shall attend service here and on Monday if the Lord will, I shall set off for Juliet, Chicago & Galena. Pray look on your map & count the distance of this excursion by degrees of latitude and longitude.

Now Dearest Rebecca don’t accuse me of want of loquacity. I should not write thus if I did not love you and greatly desire to amuse rather than tire you, with the stiffness of an ordinary epistle.

Best love to Dear Mr. Morse. Tell him that the garden seeds have proved a treasure to me as have all his other [most] kind testimonies of his love to his and your most affectionate

P. Chase

Don’t forget me to all your Dear Father’s family-- Do tell me something about them

Letter to Rebecca Morse



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