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Philander Chase describes his short tour of the Midwest to his granddaughter Laura. He visited Quincy, Chester, Mount Vernon, Grayville, New Harmony, and Kaskaskia.
Philander Chase, Dudley Chase, Laura Chase, tour, preaching, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Mt Vernon, Chester, New Harmony, Quincy, Kaskaskia, Grayville
Chase, Philander, "Letter to Laura Chase" (1843). Philander Chase Letters. 1186.
St. Louis Miss. July 10 ‘43
My dear Laura:
I have had a laboririous[sic] life of it, since I last wrote you, and were I to say that it has been full of sickness and trouble also, I should speak the Truth. From the Convention in Quincy where your Dear Uncle Dudley was ordained to Priests Orders, I proceeded to Chester an interesting place where the Church is making a beginning a little blow[sic] the mouth of Kaskaskia River. Here we officiated baptized and confirmed and administered the Holy Com’n to a goodly number.
The roads across from Chester were very bad and my health very poor. Yet we made out to preach after and organize one parish most of Vermont people in Jackson County. Some of the members knew my dear Brother Dudley-- their names are Tuthill. At Mt. Vernon and Fairfield we had large congregations. At Albion we consecrated a Church and confirmed 24 besides baptizing a number preaching many time.
We left Albion a fortnight ago this day-- I was sick when arriving at Grayville on the Wabash. Dudley preached in the Evening. The next day we dropped down the River in Skiff to Harmony the place begun by Rhapp[sic] and afterwards purchased by the fidel Owen. Rhapp’s[sic] Church which was built to contain about 5,000 people and which was turned by owen[sic] into a Theater and whi[ch] cost about 10,000 Dollars is going to decay and the owner to save it from utter ruin has given it in fee [simple] to the Vestry of the Epl. Church. But whether it will be worth the repairing is a question. It exhibits an imposing sight with its large pillars and vaulted roof. A fine Church of a size to contain 5 or 6 hundred persons might be made of it & still have enough room for spacious schools and a convenient parsonage.
From harmony on the Wabash we went ac[ros]s to the Ohio River & officiated in the Evening at a place called Mount Vernon of Indiana. Here also we met with Vermonters. A steamboat on monday[sic] took us up on board & that night we passed Cairo into the Miss’i River.
Our arrival at Chester was sooner than they expected yet we spent our time usefully there. I went up on Saturday and officiated in the Town of Kaskaskia settled about the same time with Phila. The Inhabitants are chiefly Romanists. After preaching on Sunday I took cold & have not tasted any thing since. I came down and in the Evening officiated preached and confirmed in Chester[.] On monday[sic] a boat took us to this place where I have been sick ever since. Yesterday the 10th of July I was obliged to keep close in the house being forbidden by my physicians to go to Church.
Dudley however went & preached 3 times & read service twice: from which you may infer his perfect health. I am at Dr Hoffmans who treats me with great kindness.
I hope to resume my labours in my own Diocese in a few days and to be at home in the course of a fortnight or 3 weeks. [I he]ar they are all well at Jubilee.
Little Dudley, Henry’s babe, I learn has been weaned, and your dear Grandmother has been so fortunate to procure good help-- a thing very rare in Illinois.
My own mind in retaliation to eternal things was never more at ease. God’s Spirit seems to be with me and comfort me with the fond hope of soon seeing your own grand mother in Paradise.
Give my love to your hon’d Mother & loved sister & brother: and when you see Brother Dudley & other friends mention me kindly to them all & believe me your loving Grandfather Phil’r Chase