Philander Chase



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Philander Chase informs his brother Dudley about his wife's terrible illness.




Philander Chase, Sophia Chase, Dudley Chase, illness, Jubilee College


Robins Nest Aug’t 12th 1839

Dear Brother:

I have been so distressed of late: [?] [17] days, by the dangerous sickness of my dear Wife, that I can hardly tell to whom I have and to whom I have not written on this distressing subject. If I have not already informed you, it was not because you have been out of my mind while bending o’er the agonized body of my dear partner, her, who since she has seen you & sister Olivea & the rest of her friends in Vermont has never ceased to mention you with much tenderness. Her disease is termed by Dr. Castle our excellent Physician, a congestive fever of the most malignant character. For a long time we despaired of her life. The last acts of consultation had been ministered to her & our weeping children when she took leave of us: and heart rending was the scene. Amidst it all, she stood firm to her holy faith and seemed to rejoice at the prospect of so soon receiving the crown of life. When she looked on us, whom by so sudden and unexpected a departure she was about to leave in comparative helplessness, she joined her [?] with our prayers to the good God for a longer continuance among us.

She began yesterday morning to amend: a gentle perspiration broke forth and we commenced, as ordered, to administer tonics. This season of hope continued thro’ the day & she spoke much of returning prospects of recovery. Today a cloud again hangs over us: still there is evidently a mending state and we can not but believe she will recover.

All this distress is in the midst of harvest. Our poor boys run to the field and thence to the bedside of their sick mother full of anxiety and prayerfulness. Neither of these dear ones have you seen: nor have they seen you-- They have however had the testimony of their Mother to confirm them in firm attachment to you whom tho’ having not seen they love most tenderly.

Mary-- dear, blessed, daughter of my old age is a host in supporting us under our troubles. She seems to rise in proportion ot the weight which presses her down. She works with her hands and divides her time between watching with her Mother and superintending the concerns of our numerous family with so much judgment as to bespeak a degree of mature wisdom beyond her years.

Mrs. Russell is able to be with us a considerable part of the time, tho’ evidently too weak in health to justify a very great draft on her goodness. Sarah is in the New House near the Chapel on the Hill at times quite indisposed with the ague & fever she imbibed at Ottowa[sic]. The number of workhands, joiners, on the Stonebuilding is great and this adds to the embarrassing condition of dear Sarah. Mrs. Radley also comes to see us and helps us. So you see how many mercies we have.

Our dear Samuel preached yesterday an excellent sermon on the Atonement. May it do good in [line creased]

I can write no more at present, but will give you something for them soon, I hope, of a more encouraging character.

N.B. I have written amidst all the troubles a “plea in behalf of Jubilee College” and just sent it to the [Edition] of the Southern Churchman. If he prints it--I hope you will read it. You’ll see what my mind is upon even in the cloudiest days.

Ever your affec’t Br.

Phil. Chase

Letter to Dudley Chase



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