Philander Chase



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Chase informs Intrepid Morse of the death of the younger Dudley Chase and recounts administering his last rites in front of the congregation at Robinsnest. He also lets him know Ruth Chase and her daughter will be returning to New Hampshire, and that Morse might see them there.




Philander Chase, Intrepid Morse, Ruth Chase, Dudley Chase, Dr. Castle, death, illness


Robinsnest 12 Sepy 1837

Dear Nephew:

Last week expired our young and interesting Relative Dudley Chase son of March Chase of Langdon or Drewsville New Hamps. He had come with his mother & sister Mary to this far Western land nearly 2000 miles to avoid the hand of Death which began to be laid before him about a year ago.

In that time no expense was spared in the way of physical aid-- but all to no purpose: from the moment of his entering under my humble roof which was during my absence to Chicago and Galena, he continued to decline. When I came home he could not sit up not for ten minutes together without fainting. Dr. Castle of Peoria attended him very frequently altho’ it is 14 miles to town. Like all other cases of this nature there were flattening symtoms[sic] such as deceived the Patient & his near Relatives:-- but all were deceived. He grew worse at every paroxism[sic] and on the 4th of Sept. expired in the morning without a groan or a sigh that could enable even his mother who sat by him to tell the exact time his change took place.

It will give you pleasure to know that his spiritual condition or inner man [engrossed] in strength as his outer man decayed. The evidences of this were sufficient to encourage us to hope that he is now in a state of Blessedness. I administered to him the apostolic rite of Confirmation; and the Lords supper twice before his death. The last time he rece’d the emblems of his Saviour’s body and blood was on Sunday the 3’d of Sept. This was the dated time of administering this blessed ordinance at the Robinsnest every first Sunday in the month. Knowing this the dear youth had expressed a wish to his mother that he might live to receive it. This was granted him. His emaciated form was raised in his bed altho in an other room of the Cabin so as that thro’ the door which was wide many of the Congregation could see me and his brother Samuel the one [pronouncing] the blessing and the other giving him the Elements. And a truly affecting spectacle it was: as he raised his sweet countenance (now rendered still more benignant by reason of his firm faith in Christ and the witness of his love in his soul) who but the most unfeeling and wicked could refrain from tears? The whole assembly seemed affected at the sight. On Monday morning he expired and on tuesday evening he was consigned to the silent grave. It is in a place selected by his Brother Samuel on an eminence covered with prairie grass and overshadowed with black oak and burr oak trees. It overlooks the fine meadows of a branch of the Kicapoo River, & has a full view of the fields which I am now in [mine] old age cultivating with my own hands for my living. Here also must I rest, in Gods good time, from my labours. God Grant that may be in peace, thro’ our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Today in the time fixed on for the departure of Mrs. Ruth Chase and her daughter for New Hamps. Samuel will accompany them to St. Louis and perhaps all the way home. If the latter it will be a great expense to him and deprivation for me and a no small disarrangement to my plans, but God’s will be done! You may expect to see them at Steuben’lle in a few days. Yours in haste P. Chase

Letter to Intrepid Morse



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