Philander Chase



Download Full Text (8.9 MB)


Story of the sinking of the ship "Polly Eliza". Lost friends and furniture. Must make plans to obtain new furniture.




Polly Eliza, Mr. and Mrs Fowler, Colonel Billow, Mary Chase, Mr. Waller, shipwreck, West, slave


My dear brother,

What, in the name of reason, is the cause of your not writing to me? Have you forgotten that you have a brother who has left with you his fondest affections and that which is dearer than self his darling boys- now far from you: -a brother, who thinks of you by day and dreams of you by night- who prays for you without ceasing; and looks forward to none more happy Period than that in which he may be permitted once more to embrace you? But perhaps you have been too much hurried with the cares and vexations of your calling. Perhaps you have been mostly from home aiding your tedious Circuits- any excuse rather than to support you ill, or that you have begun to lack what is “dearer to me than much fine gold” your esteem and your love.

We are very well but have met with a great loss, (for us,) in that all our Furniture and Chair Clothes and beds, together with several valuable articles we had purchased in New York are gone to the bottom of the Ocean in the Polly Eliza which sailed from New York on [?] 19th of [Dec] 1806 and has not been heard of since.

I think I informed you that when we arrived in N. York a favorite [vessel] had already leaved out for N. Orleans, on board of which we could not take anything but our persons and a few Traveling articles. Everything else we left in the care of a friend carefully h[?] up, to be shipped on board any vessel soon sailing for N. Orleans. This was accordingly done in the vessel above mentioned and all are gone as there is not the least doubt. But that is 1500 or 2000 $ to us compared with the dreadful loss which which others, the friends of those [whoever] passengers have sustained. Mrs. Fowler’s Sister Mrs. [Peton] and her two Daughters and another sister Mrs. [Garlane] sailed in the same vessel and have all, all, perished! Philander will recollect Dick Fowler, a fine little fellow for whom I had a tender regard, and was about the age of George. This melancholy event has affected Mrs. Chase and myself exceedingly. Mrs. F. was a [particular] friend of Mrs. P and as they were coming to reside in this Country we hoped for much pleasure in a continuation of mutual friendship. Fowler was an often warm hearted fellow. Generous and brave he loved his friend and stuck to him whether fortune smiled or frowned. His wife was born in D[?] and was educated by Mr. Wallen her Father and Englishman, in a manner far superior to what is usual in the West Indies. It was a treat to be in her company to partake of the Rich stories of her lively fancy and retentive memory. But they all gone. The Cold Billow now rolls over them who were so lately the life and ornament of society. -God’s will be done.

How we shall recover our pecuniary [?] I do not know. I had purchased 2 good servants, and already set them to work in our Garden about 3 miles below the Town and was anxiously waiting the arrival of our goods. Being disappointed in this ex[halation] I must turn my thoughts towards some way of procuring furniture: which can not be [effected] here under 1,200 Dollars. I have no plan as yet m[?] for this purpose- but hope that I [can] be able to hire B[?] for one year at the end of which if we are [blest] we can discharge the whole. When I am so happy as to do this I will write you that your anxiety for my welfare which I know by my own heart is great, may be relieved.

By the vigorous m[?] which have been taken by Govt the The Troubles of our Western Country are at length appeared. All things again offer me their wonted peaceful Train. The public Confidence is again returning. Our Rulers in Washington begin to see that the Milk of human kinship is not [?] the thing to [satisfy] the [?] of mind aspiring adventuring who flock into our western world. The Trial of some of “Mexican Society” is now taking place in this City- The proceedings of the [?] it is said will be printed- if so- I will try to forward [?][?] via Boston.

Our Church matters are in a [proper] [?]. Our troubles seemed to give them a [check] for a while but all things are again beginning to flow on in this [final] Channel. Our dear, darling, boys; God bless them, I hope are improving in their studies and in your kind favor. Kiss them big as they are for their fond parents. -Tell them to be good and studious if they wish to make us happy.

Mm. Chase repeats with me her affectionate compliments and best love to the Mother of our dear Children, and to all our friends. Farewell! Again dear Brother I hope soon to be able to give you a good account of successful endeavors to extricate ourselves from our present embarrassment. Do write me if you have [read] the letters I write you from N. York and on my arrival.

N. Orleans Feb 23 1807

Dudley Chase Esq.

Everloving Brother

Philander Chase

Letter to Dudley Chase



Rights Statement

No Copyright - United States