Philander Chase



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Philander Chase describes his Christmas Day to his sister Rachel.




Philander Chase, Rachel Denison, Sophia Chase, Dudley Chase, Henry Chase, Philander Chase Junior, Jubilee Chapel, Ann Wells, Susan Chase, labor, childbirth, medicine, health


Jubilee College Christmas AD 1849

Dear Sister Rachel:

How can I let this joyful Festival pass without pouring forth my devout [wishes] for the best of Sisters--the only one left of our numerous family with whom I am permitted to sympathize. A blessed Christmas to you Dear loved one

I am here at home all alone after performing the sacred duties of administering the supper of our Lord to Dear Samuel--dear Dudley and dear Philander in JUbilee Chapel and joining with Philander in the prayers and hearing Dudley Preach an excellent sermon--I went home with Dudley to eat my Christmas Dinner in company with his wife and Miss Ann Wells and several other persons--and when that feast was over I came home and found my house (the Cottage) cold--all the fires having gone nearly out: very cold.

You will ask where was my blessed Wife? Did she not attend Church nor prepare a Dinner? No--Dear Sister! she was over at the Robin’s Nest watching over Dear Henry’s wife Susan who hs been in labour with her 4th for 3 days. We had prayers for in church for indeed she is very Ill: This is the cause of my being all-alone and that circumstance is the cause of my beginning to write this talkative letter: You see by it I have not lost the use of my pen. Would it were always employed so innocently and so pleasing to myself, if not to you

I forgot to begin my letter with an acct of my preaching the Christmas Eve sermon. The Chapel was well field with attentive hearers. If you ask me how I got on, being so old and unable to read a M.S at night? The answer is I can’t do so anymore. My discourses are such as some call ex tempore yet truly are not so--for I have recourse my old notes so far as to keep me from wandering--the matter, however, is suggested by the exigences of the occasion. In this way, what I say is more practical and has a directer influence on the heart as well as the mind of the hearer.

I hope you will be pleased with the 10th no of our little “Motto.” God grant his blessing ont according to its merit, but according to his Mercy in Jesus Christ towards our suffering Church in Illinois. We have been smitten like Job: may we have grace to be patient like him. The Loss of one third of our living is a serious matter; but the affliction is inexpressibly lighter than the consciousness sin:

While was writing the above our dear Mary & Mr Chamberlain ande their sweet little Child came in from Peoria where they live and are building a Church & keeping a school for their living. There[sic] are all quite well and pleased with their success in the ways of well-doing.

Our dear Niece Mrs Russell is well and often speaks of you with me. We are two of the oldest acquaintances in Illinois. She told me yesterday that I must give her love to you.

Sarah Dudley has another fine daughter but is in tears for the recent loss of her brother Sam’l Owen Wells of Michigan

Philander is a god preacher and very zealous in preparing to build a new Church in Farmington about 18 miles from us. He teaches mathematics with great acceptance in the College.

Samuel our favorite Nephew is constantly engaged in teaching and is much beloved by all the Students.

Dudley preached the Christmas [ever] in a Village about 2 ½ miles from us for the Rev Mr Radley. I hear that the Congregation was very large & attentive--giving evidence that piety correct Church principles are on the increase there. Indeed this is generaly[sic] the case in this Region: for which we thank God most devoutly

I will not entirely finish my letter till I hear from the Robin’s Nest how Henry’s Susan is. Would that your good Husband were with her in this perilous time! Dr. Donaldson who is in attendance has the reputation of being [?]ful in clinical matters: but those whom we have known to all we could wish would be much preferred

2d day of Churstmas before day

We are all up little Boys Dudley and Frank and my wife has come over from the Robins Nest and says that Susan is more easy. The Doctor is there with her and Agnis Ingraham her sister: so that Our minds are more calm and our faith in God’s mercy I trust is strengthened.

The boys are round my table & making a great noise with their Christmas presents. Mr Chamberlain & Dear Mary are still in bed upstairs with their sweet little Sherell thats his name now about 2 years old.

Henry my son is here also for a short time to get all the workmen going.

Now Dr Sister Adieu! Love to all


Letter to Rachel Denison (sister)



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