Philander Chase



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Philander Chase calculates the cost of the loss of the mill at Jubilee in a fire.




Philander Chase, Jubilee College, fire, mill, sheep, conflagration, destruction, wool, hay, wheat, flour, farm, farming


Jubilee College 10th of Dec’r 1849

Dear Laura,

You have doubtless heard of our Sad loss by the destruction of our Mills by fire. A third part of our living on the College Hill being thereby taken from us we were thrown into a state of doubt whether it were our duty to go on or to stop at least for a time the operation of our College System.

Were we to do this the income of our farms would enable us to pay all our debts in a short time or by selling off our stock we could do it now. The sale of our flock of sheep only would clear us of every debt being now 2,300. But in that case how seriously would the College suffer and how disappointed would be all our Benefactors!!

Under this view of things there was but one [voice] among us all. “Go on -- go on” Let us improve still more thorough our fine lands not yet brought into good [c]ultivation. Let us increase the extent of our pasture and grass lands for hay. Ley us increase our stock of Cows and the number of our fine wool-sheep. Let us make butter and cheese and raise fruit for the Market and see if we can not do without our Mills by raise wheat to buy our flour.

The chief difficulty in the way was the want of lumber to make fences to inclose our domain. This is obviated by the following facts-- We have oak trees enough on our land to fence the whole and we can erect an 8 horse [pow] sawmill to prepare the boards for fencing. Now we have horses to do this and we have oxen strong to labour to draw in our logs and to break up the ground for our spring crops.

Having laid this plan and already begun to put it in operation, you see I have (already now I am (in just five days from this) seventy four years of age) commenced the world anew. My dear Children are (under God) my hands and my feet to run & to do what the Head of their aged father dictates.

But where is the cast for the out lay in the meantime when all this is going on? Who shall pay our labourers now above 20 in number and give them their lodging and their food in its season? In sho[rt] who shall guaranty a sum (equal to what we have lost) in fencing 2,000 acres and putting it in a fine state of Cultivation? I will let our Motto answer this question “Jehovah Jireh” God will provide

On the College lands it will be seen, that the Angel of the Lord who hath been with me all my life long hath not failed me at last. In proportion as the world deserts me, and misfortunes befall me in [my] weary journeys even so will the Right Hand of the Lord be held out to support me.

I suppose your uncle Dudley has already informed you of the birth of another fine daughter Miss Ann Wells is with them and takes great delight in adorning the sweet babe [with] the work of her hands.

We are all well and doing well on the College Hill. Winter [having] at length come we are all gathering round our fine coal fires. Make my regards to your dear Mother (who I trust has already [re]turned from Vermont) & to your good husband & Eliza & Mrs Flint

Ever your loving Grand Father P Chase

Letter to Laura Chase



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