Philander Chase



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Philander Chase informs his sister of his current financial situation and the funeral of Dudley Chase II, and updates her on several members of the family, including his children Henry, Mary and Philander, the latter of whom is still young and not yet working. Chase attempted to hire a tutor for the younger Philander but was unable to because he is a clergyman.




Philander Chase, Alice Chase, Mary Chase, Henry Chase, Philander Chase Jr., Dudley Chase, funeral, Sarah Chase, death, finances


Robinsnest Ill. Sep. 15. 1837.

Dear Sister Rachael,

I am better pleased with y’r last letter than with any that I remember to have r’d. By it I see you are [?] for heaven--& that your faith in the only source of consolation to the aged remains firm. Go on, Dear Sister, and cherish what the Good God has begun in you. It is a plant which if watered by the dews of God; grace & [trusted] by the hand of vigillance[sic] will bloom even amid the cold blasts of leafless old age.

What you say of dear Sister Alice is truly characteristic of her. Faith in the Lord Jesus and candour and strength in her expressions of it are conspicuous in all she does or says. How often in my prayers have I thought of this dear Sister! and how I long to see her in her moments of bodily distress! But I fear we are to meet no more till we unite our loves in Heaven. I have spent a great fortune in going to see my Friends in Vermont. In my old age I have not another to dispose of in this way. Even the little, which was sent my wife from her female Friend in Eng’d must go to pay back into the Treasury of the Missionary Society what I foolishly drew from thence to support me in my travels in this Diocese. I thought it was freely given; but I find it otherwise: so I have returned it to them.

Their sending my Draft back ot me does not make me swerve from my purpose; and I have told them so, in my ans’r to the Committee: as you may soon see. But I did not mean to mar the fair face of my letter to you dear Sister by this dirty subject. I feel too much in your spirit to dwell long on pecuniary subjects. I shall soon have it in my power to send you a copy of my “Pastoral letter” to the flock committed to my charge. I hope you may approve of it as an [?] of doing good in my day and generation. It is principally aimed against the sins of our time and country at large, worldly mindedness & covetousness. I hope to have a proof of the last form in a day or two. You must tell me candidly what you think of it. By your corrections I hope to do better next time. So you see I am laying you some thing ahead.

If this be, as you say, like our hon’d and lov’d Father I am proud of it. If pride in anything be allowable it is innocent in imitating the excellencies of our virtuous ancestors.

Your kindness in detailing to me the condition of your domestic relations prompts me to try to imitate your example & say something, however poorly, of my own dear family.

My wife, God bless her, is all that I could pray for in the most beloved Companion. She is at present in pretty good health and with me has just been to see a sick person on horseback about 2 miles off. Next is Mrs. Russell-- the best of human beings in her heart & intentions; but, like her mother, very talkative. Even this has become pleasing to me because it tells us, dear, dear, Lucia is alive and near us.

Then comes Sarah now the mother of two lovely babes: what of her? A worthy & dignified wife and Mother-- truly; none [superior] to her in “dear old England.” But how it grieves her to say to you that her husband has just now left us to attend dear [Ruth] his Mother, & his Sister Mary to N. Hampsh. & that the news has just arrived that the [Cast] was taken sick in Peoria with the typhous fever. Tomorrow my wife and myself are to go and see them.

You will probably have read of the Death of that interesting youth Dudley Chase of Drewsville N.H.? He expired in this humble Dwelling about a fortnight since in the faith of the Gospel, having re’d the holy rite of Confirmation and the Emblems of a Saviours dying love he closed his eyes in peace. I preached his funeral Sermon and performed the burial Service, at his grave dug among the spreading oaks and in the green grass of our prairies. There he lies overlooking the sweet scene below him. The green meadows in which are feeding the harmless flicks by the side of living water, Emblems of those spiritual joys which we trust he is now taking in that blessed land where the wicked cease from troubling, and where the weary are at rest. But to return shall I have room to say any thing worthy of Henry and Mary and Philander? I fear not. They are all grown up and while they learn a little [of] books are working hard for a living.

The best I can say of them is that they are not unmindful of their spiritual concerns. Both Henry & Mary have renewed their Chrisitan vows, and walk [as] become the [two] children of light. Ph’l is young; but I trust not without some [?] impressions. He reads many of the pious books sent him from England and is submissive to his parents’ wills. I had some hopes by hiring a man to oversee my temporal and farming concerns, to afford my Boys some respite from labour so much at least as to fit them for College: but this hope is vanishes since the Baltimore resolutions of the Board of [Missions]. They must be farmers and not Clergymen. Even Dudley, whom you mention so kindly, must return to the plough: if he is not already on his way home, I think he will not long delay his coming.

And what shall I say more? Would any thing about myself please you? Surely you will rejoice when I tell you I am more and more confirmed in the truths of our holy faith and feel more and more in its heavenly consolations. Death, you say, is [tangible]. But Jesus has overcome death opened the kingdom of heaven to gall who believe & trust in him. As to the Agonies which appointed, perhaps they are not so great as you imagine. And if they be, God can support us. Let us then take courage: all will be right; all will be blessedness, when it is said that we are gone. Your loving brother Philander

Letter to Rachel Denison



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