Philander Chase



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Philander Chase thanks his lawyer Gerardus Clark for providing a report on the lawfulness of teaching Scripture in public schools. He laments his lack of income and writes about the progress of Jubilee College and the financial situation at Kenyon College.




Philander Chase, Bishop McIlvaine, Charles McIlvaine, Gerardus Clark, Sophia Chase, Jubilee College, Kenyon College, Reminiscences, debt, finances, missionaries, religion, evangelization, education, law


Illinois copy


Jubilee College Nov. 25

To Gerardus Clark Esqr.

Very dear Sir

Few things have given me more pleasure than your Legal Opinion in the report on the lawfulness of using the Holy Scriptures in our public schools. In reading it my very soul rejoiced that there was one man who had the ability and moral courage in the face of infidelity and Romanism to write and set forth the Truth on so important a subject. And when I reflected that the person who did this is one whom I have had thro’ a long course of years reason to esteem very highly my satisfaction amounted to exstacy [sic]. In this sentiment I am joined by my dear Wife your old acquaintance to whom I [read] [yr] Opinion accompanied with words of unfeined [sic] commendation. May God our Heavenly Father, bless our friend and the friend of the best interests of our race, [was] our mutual wish.

You see I associate my dear wife in the expression of good wishes for your happiness. I have more reasons than one for so doing. I am prompted to it not only by reason of our mutual regard for your character; but because I would wish to avoid all appearance of Episcopal interference with things “pertaining to another’s diocese,” and the imputation of papal jurisdiction” so much dreaded since I have by the providence of God become the Senior Bishop. Who would not be cautious in these days on account of such [mighty] reasons as these?

But to be serious. - I have seen a pamphlet printed in New York containing a Collection of the several Opinions of the English Bench of Bishops on the subject of the late movement towards Rome in that Country. It struck me when I read it that if my Clergy in Illinois were in possession of this little work it would be a great help to them informing a right opinion of the state of things so as to guide their own footsteps in the way of righteousness. But I am poor and can not afford to send them at my own expense. Not one half of my travelling expenses even are paid for, by my people: - for the rest of my support I have to depend on the labour of my family & the produce of a little farm which in these times is nearly as much expense as profit to me in all cases of a crop requiring hired labour. I did [hope] something from the publication of my Reminiscences but hitherto I am not half reimbursed for the expenses of the paper.

In the face of all opposition our Institution progresses. The Roof of our “West Wing,” as we call it is this day completed. It is 83 ft. in length and two stories high, built of hewn stone and under the majestic trees on Jubilee Hill commands the admiration of all who behold it. We shall take care and not be in debt when we leave it for a better world.

You will see by the little book I send you that I did not leave Kenyon in debt, as implied in Bp: McIlvaines addresses. How could I, when the following statement of facts is true?

Bp: McIlvaine [rc’d] of the means which I [left]

viz Sale of the North Sction[sic] of land 4,000 acres-- $22500

Mrs Hannah More’s Legacy to me-- 200£(say) 1,000

Mrs Clark of Phil’a [do] One thousand Dollars- 1,000

Arrearages of Students bills------------------------ 3,000


For particulars I refer you to the 3 letters of the Rev. Sam’l Chase to me sent by this post.

Your ever faithful friend &

Servant in the Lord

Phil’r Chase

P.S. for the names of my clergy enquire of the Rev. Mr Harris who edits the “Spirit of Missions”

Letter to Gerardus Clark



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