Philander Chase



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Philander Chase writes to his granddaughter Laura about his reason for being detained in Chicago: he is there to attend the trial of a Presbyter while Dudley Chase has gone to Michigan for other business. He hopes to see Laura soon when he visits Vermont. Philander also warns Laura about the son of his brother Baruch, who was found to have tried to kill his brother and friends.




Philander Chase, Laura Chase, Dudley Chase, Mary Chase, trial, bad conduct, infraction, presbyter, church afffairs, Baruch Chase


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Chicago Ill: June 10 44

My dear Grand Daughter Laura:

I think I have answered your letter of the 6th may: but am not sure.

However this may be I am confident I said nothing on the subject of Brother Barach’s [Sam]: - I remember when reading what you told me of his wish to put his property into your hands while he was carrying his pistol and Bowie knife to kill his brother and friends, my mind was so shocked as to make me wish to write you [a] separate confidential letter on the subject-- and to desire you by all means to shun the very right of such a monster. He is indeed insane-- a madman. and as such we should keep out of [his] sight. If he come in at one door, you must [?] out at the other. As to his giving you his property & putting it in to Louis Smith’s safekeeping-- I shudder at the thought.

The last time I saw him in the presence of his now dear decased[sic] father, he treated me so badly-- and yet artfully conducting his speech as at once to wound my feelings and yet retain the sympathies of his Mother (who was present) in his favour. A demon seem’d to guide his conduct. I then thought him “possessed”-- As you say, perhaps after all it is but the effects of his [pass] in which, I am sorry to say, his Parents thro’ a false tenderness, never sufficiently controlled. Had his head strong temper been completely subdued in infancy and youth, I verily believe he would now be a reasonable & christian man: But as it is I fear he is lost forever. A miyracle[sic] of divine grace only can restore him to his right mind,” so as to “sit at the feet of Jesus”

11. June. Chicago. I was sorry that I did not leave you cash to [come] home with

I am still detained here to attend the presentation of one of my Presbyters for immoral conduct & the breach of his ordination vows. Mary came on with your Uncle Dudley to meet me [at] [this] place, nearly a fortnight since. Dudly[sic] & mys[elf] intended to go together across thro’ Michigan state to attend to some secular business: Mary did not [wish] to travel in these times of bad roads thro’ M[ichi]gan accordingly meeting with good company I [offered] to go round northabout “ to Detroit. W[hen] the investigation of Mr Walkin’s conduct began to take place I sent Dudley alone into Michigan and compelled by a sense of duty am still here in Chicago.

I have written to Mary of my detention & desired to wait in Detroit for further orders. What these will be I know not for I have not determined whether to spend the interim between the present & the day of trial (which is on the 12th of July) in Illinois or in the Western part of N. York; getting scholarships for the public. I have gotten one in [G]alena & one in this City & hope to do the same in every place

[come] home in the stage tomorrow morning if you get this in season if not Friday we will be there some of us at Bates I mean to pay your fare

Letter to Laura Chase



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