Philander Chase



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Philander Chase thanks Dr. Ramsey for his generous donation of 100 pounds bequest of Miss Bates. He explains the significance of donations to Jubilee College in their ability to provide for the pupils. Chase amends the letter one month later, having forgotten to send it.




Philander Chase, Dr. Ramsey. Sophia Chase, Miss Bates, England, Illinois, Jubilee College, finances, tuition, scholarship, farming, construction, addendum


New York N America Jan 8th 1845

Very D’r Ramsey!

Have I never written to you since the receipt of the One Hundred Pounds through your hands from the dying hand of dear Miss Bates of Little Misenden? If not I now thank you most sincerely--and think it my duty on mentioning such a providential Event to record my grateful acknowledgements to the Good God, who put it into the heart of that blessed Lady to think of one so unworthy as the object of her dying beneficence. Hope is almost wrought into certainty when thinking of her rich reward in Heaven. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord” -- “for their Works follow them” as evidence of their faith once on Earth but now swallowed up in certainty of their blessedness.

The above sum together with a donation from another quarter in England (well known to yourself & Mrs Ramsey) of 61£ enabled me to reduce a debt which I owed to our beloved Jubilee College nearly one half its amount. When I came from my home last may I stood in debt to Jubilee $1600 and the avails of the English donation cancelled nearly the half of that debt. What a mercy this to one who dreads indebtedness! Thank God the College itself is clear of debt and since my exertions this past summer which have been partially successful she bids fair to prosper in the great work of training ministers of the Gospel.

My object was to collect means to sustain young men of pious character while studying for the Ministry: One Hundred of these students constituted my first object--and more than half of them scholarships I have already obtained: The labour of which effort & the many thousand miles I have travelled to accomplish it have nearly worn me out.

Add to this the confinement & mental exertion occasioned by the trial of the Bishop of New York which has just now closed its nearly a Month’s session. Never before have my feelings been so harrowed up, my responsibilities so awakened and my judgment so weighed against my sympathies before.

Sitting at the head of a Court of Bishops Seventeen in number (the Presenters 3 more making twenty in number) I feel myself providentially called on to do as I shall wish to have done-- when I come to be juged[sic] at the Bar of God[.] The dreadful sentence “Guilty” was the result of this. Nine besides the 3 presenters were for, and 6 against this Sentence. He is suspended indefinitely

The whole proceedings of the Court will soon be printed. In the mean time I must be off and about my duty. I would go immediately to Illinois; but the way thither both by the Lakes & by the River is obstructed by ice and we can not travel in the stage coaches for in many places there are none. The only alternatives are-- stay here in the Northern and middle states till spring; or go immediately on my journey to the south; and getting into a warmer climate spend the remainder of the winter in Georgia or New Orleans & then, in the month of March, up the River Mississippi to Illinois. A few days at my home are all the comforts of this sort that I expect. when I must be off again visiting and building up the Churches in Illinois. This is my lot till I am released by my changing this for a better world.

I hear from home frequently. My dear Wife (the life-principle of the whole machine at Jubilee) has been very sick: now, thanks to a kind Providence, she is better.

The school is growing fast and all are behaving well. The principles set forth in our Pastoral letter issued from the House of Bps last Gen’l Convention are those of the whole school of Jubilee. A copy of this pastoral letter I sent you & I should be glad to hear that you approve of it. Mary is with me; and has been so ever since we left Jubilee.

In South Carolina I hope to get some means to commence the main building of our Noble Institution a lithograph of which I send you inclosed. “Why” you’ll say “has not this been done before?[“] Answer-- Because we determined never to be in debt. And now that our success in numbers of students is so that we want room for them: and all our debts are paid-- now we call with peculiar Emphasis, on the friends of the Protestant Church to aid us in erecting a suitable building & sufficiently [?] to carry on the glorious work--now--now is the time for all to help me. Hither to my friends even Lord Bexley told me that it was impossible for me to build a 2’d College. But having overcome their objection in point of fact what should hinder from enjoying their confidence and their liberality to enable me to perfect what is so well begun.

The ground on which I rest my plea with mine own Countrymen is that of justice. I may be said to be as one sent to do a specified duty-- The church in our Atlantic states under God sent me to plant dioceses & to build up Churches in our Vast Western Regions. I have endeavoured to do this; but find the work too heavy to be performed. Like a Reaper I find the harvest too vast to be accomplished by the feeble force allowed me & the few labourers[.] Missionaries have been as nothing; even when my sons and all my substance [?] pledged to get labourers the work is likely to be stopped-- & the whole field of wheat ripe unto harvest to fail for want of labourers. What can I say when I find myself in such a case. What but that those who sent me have not done their duty. They have neither fed me nor given me labourers nor means to obtain them. The justice of my claim is evident & I shall not cease to urge it. With kindest regards to Mr Ramsey I am most loved Sir Yours P. Chase

Jubilee College Illinois Feb. 8 45

Very dear Dr. Ramsey.

You will be surprized[sic] to read this letter written so long ago. The truth is that in opening my trunk yesterday my dear wife desired this letter without superscription & immediately read it to me saying why did you not send this to dear Dr. Ramsey.

I stood amazed-- and would not answer-- & then be thought myself in this manner. “I thought I did send it: if not this I am almost sure I sent a better one-- thinking this too prolix and too full of mistakes” -- She replied I would send it yet. It gives facts & that is what good men like not looking so much to old men’s manner of representing them-- Send the letter. If it be a copy the Good Ramseys will forgive that-- if not: it may give pleasure by the very diversity in the statement. So you have it. Pray forgive my obstrusiveness[.]

By the last mail I sent you an answer to yours of Nov’r & one to; dear, dear Lady at “the Rectory Weston Super Mare.” [?] The injury I rec’d by a fall on board the Steamer in the Mississippi River still continues to give me pain: I am, however, to preach to the dear pupils tomorrow, the first sunday in lent, as I did on Ash wednesday-- the Sunday following I am to ordain a candidate and administer the Rite of Confirmation. Do write to me immediately. By the bye Did you ever hear of the little English pupil whom I picked up on the Illinois Prairies? The Bp of [Rison] helps support him. He will be a Bp

Letter to James Ramsey



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