George Chase



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George feels incredible loneliness at College; he copies several passages from his diary for Intrepid, relating the stories of meeting old friends and family in Woodstock; he confesses he loves his aunt and uncle more than his parents




New Haven. Yale College. Nov. 6.1815. My Dear Friend. Ere this shall have reached its destined hands, my cos will have you find & forty times to the Post Office and returned four and forty—when alas! No letter was there. Every time, you have gone back with hopes dampened, & spirits weighed down. I anticipation your reflections—they were unfavourable to me in the extreme. Perhaps, they charged me with neglect! “Et tu Brute”? ‘And you George?’ was the caption to every paragraph, in your soliloquies. “Speed Pegasus,—speed my quill, Slave to my thoughts,—obedient to my will” and tell this doubting fiend, of all, thy Master has endured. Tell him a monster nurs’d by the wines, & cradled by the waves,—a child of Death, a minion of the deep,—seized upon me and sent me groaning, not without some desperate struggles, to my bed. His name is Influenza. Seven days & nights while round this globe wheeled the cold sense, though hid from us blind mortals by a fog and mist,—there did I lay. Till routed by a troop of blisters and of valiant medicine, he fled,—and I again am—free. The whole Revolution was nothing to this. But nonsense such as this—avaunt! In the first place, I will tell you where I am—and then where I have been. I am in an arm-chair—in a small room—pacing the East & South that is one window to the East and one to the South—at Mr. Atwaters—second street book of the College I have no roommate, but live here in silent loneliness. My bed occupies one corner—my desk an-other—my chips the closet—your friend almost all the remaining space. A looking-glass—a table another chair and two trunks complete the decorations. Where I have-been is a tale, full of incidents and too long to be contained, in five and twenty letters of modern days. On that I could leave this den of misery to me, this New Haven, and visit again the Green Mountains. Yea I would make the remainder of my life, one continued visit, there. Beneath their shadow, I passed the happiest part of my life—the days of infancy. I look back upon them with a sort of regret, and presentiment, that my lot of life is cast in some other spot far distant—where friends and relations would be alike wanting. But whatever and wherever my fortune may be—one thing I earnestly pray for—Contentment—’tis the soul of all happiness here below. I will give you a few extracts from my Journal—which is yet in a very unfinished state and consists merely of notes. Pencil marks are frequently [?] by no matter—my friend we will arm in arm promenade over the whole extent of my journey. I will take you into my air baloon and set you down at whatever spot is worthy of notice. “Sept. 16 Sat. The Stage Driver from Windsor to Woodstock was not Robert as I expected. But he said that Robert would drive for us from Woodstock to Royalton. I was much disappointed, but never-mind I shall soon see somebody whom I know. Accordingly I took the front seat with the Driver. He was quite a sensible fellow and gave me all the information possible. He said Robert owned the line from Windsor to Randolph & was a very respectable honest and and industrious man. That however he still lived at Uncle Dudley’s. As we receded from Connecticut river the scenery began to change, and such hills as we heretofore only saw at a Distance we were obliged to ascend. They bear the peculiar marks of the Green Mountains the evergreens of Spruce & Hemlock. A slight shower which obliged me to creep back into the Body of the Stage. Toward evening it cleared away in the West. Arrived in Woodstock soon after sunset/ I saw Robert at a distance standing by the door of the hotel. He came to the Stage & let down the steps. I permitted all the passengers to get out before me. I then jumped down, and caught hold of his hand “Robert God bless you, how do you do?” He replyed in a cold distant voice “How do you do Sir?” “Why Robert” said I in rather a reproachful tone “don’t you remember me?” “Bob Pomeroy I believe.” I laughed out right at this, as did a number of spectators on the step viewing so singular a scene. I then pulled off my hat & made him examine my phis—”D’ont you know me?”—”No Sir I d’ont”—”Look again then.” At length said he “Is it George.” “Yes.” The poor fellow was so overjoyed to see me that he shed tears like a child. Robert gave all the information.he could concerning our friends.— “Evening. Took the front Seat. The moon shone above our heads with beauty & splendour. The clouds had passed away—but the mists slowly rolled around the mountains—sometimes we were in the midst of them—sometimes below, sometimes above. On Barnard hill came in sight of Randolph. Thought I could distinguish the white spire of the meeting house but perhaps it was fancy.” Thus far my Dear Friend we have gone in our air baloon together I find my extracts take up more room than I expected so I will cut short in my own words. Next Morning we arrived in Randolph. The stage wheeled up to the door of Uncle Dudleys. I went in—nobody up but Caroline grinding coffee in the entry leading to the wood-house. She opened the door to see what stranger had come in—looked at me—and shut it again. (is not this provoking?) I pushed it open—”Caroline how do you do?” “Is it George?” said she dropping the dish—I can not detail the circumstances of this mornings meeting—even at this distant period my tears stand in my eyes at the recollection. And now Intrepid I will unfold to you the dearest secret of my heart. I know you will never by word or letter reveal it. I love my Uncle & Aunt more than I do my own Father & Mother! This may seem shocking to you—but I can not think otherwise—who watched me in my infancy?—my Aunt—who fed me caressed me & loved me as her own?—my Aunt—She never deserted me. To her I was accustomed to look up—as to mother for protection. Was I not solemnly given to them at Poughkeepsie? I was clothed & fed for 13 years, without any recompense—they ever considered me, till about four years ago, as a child of theirs. And then I was cruelly wrenched from them—& they were left desolate & distressed—of the darkness & wretchedness of that hour. I was once by accident informed, by my Uncle & Aunt—twas no mean contrivance to steal me from my Parents—I requested a history of the affair—My Uncle told me the circumstances till his voice faltered & he could go on no farther. He is not the man to show his inward sufferings ever—this is the only instance I ever knew where his feelings overcame him so much. My Father & Mother have Philander who love them without any division—I will love them & cherish them still—but I will also be “a staff to my Dear Uncle & Aunt in ther old age” as I remember I used to promise when I was a little boy between my Uncles knees. Is my Judgment mislead—tell me so Intrepid if it is—to your word I will listen before any bodys else on this globe. Tell me exactly your opinion without any fear of wounding my feelings. Your are a true friend and I know you will do it. “Sept. 18. Monday. Had the horse put into the chair and went with my Aunt up to Mr. Plints. S[?] & Mrs. Poole who lives with her seemed boy pleased to see me. Mrs. Plint has two children of her own besides the care of two children by Mr. Plints former wife. I seldom if ever have seen a farmer more sensible in his observations than Mr. Plint. That he is kind to his wife I have not the least doubt from what I observed and from the remarks of others. Mrs. Poole seemed to be as contented as any.”—“Randolph village has altered for the better in a good many respects. The buildings have been most of them painted anew and every thing wears and air of neatness & content. Capt. Bracketts new house & [?] hotel, Mayor Eelsons, Mr. Wilbers and a number of building on the road to the West Branch—stores &c have added considerably to the size of the place. A windmill on the rise of ground back of the meeting house adds considerable to the appearance of the place.” “All my your Friends seemed very glad to see me. But I had grown out of the remembrance. At least very few knew me.”—Lucia Throop—k[?] me instantaneously—ha! Ha! Intrepid you remember the old story of Mother & daughter? I went to the house in the evening with Alvan Edson. Her mother only was at home. We contrived it so that I would slip out at the back door when she returned. Well—she came home—I escaped & in a few minutes went to the door & rapped—went in & enquired if Mr. Blodget was at home. I had some business with him about a harness. [?] called me by name immediately &c &c Uncle Cottons Daughter Maria now Mrs. Moulton has a pretty little child about nine weeks old—it is a beauty as far as we can judge of such little children. My Visit to Bethel was pleasant indeed—wherever I went I was sure of smiles & welcome. Uncle Smiths Family are in the same state as formerly. Addison is quite rich in Ohio Ben is also in a prosperous state. Mr Russel wife and child are at Uncle Smiths. Salmon Cotton—Captain—is at home & works on the farm. If you remember the state of things there 3 years ago you have a complete knowledge of what they are at present. I sw Helena Morse at Uncle Simeons, she gave me an account of your father. She said he was as well as could be expected & in about the same state as when you left him. She is a tailoress & made these pantaloon which I have on at present & which my aunt was so good as to give me. — Friday 29. After a long chase over Uncle Dudleys hill caught my horse (bye-the bye Uncle D had a fine horse stolin a few nights before I came which he intended to give me to ride about on my visits & ride in the forenoon to Bethel City.” — [?] in—aunt was reading—”how do you do”—”how do you do Sir”—”D’ont you know me?” [?] [?] I believe.”!!! After my Return from Stockbridge on Saturday I staid at Uncle Denisons one night. Slept in the same chamber where you used to sleep—where the wall is not plastered—was worked [?] the morning by the roar of the river. Rest assured I did not forget you[?] gave an account of the visit at Pibbons-ville—Uncle Durkee lives about one mile above Royalton—across the river in a romantic retired spot. Aunt Durkee has become resigned to her situation and I vever enjoyed myself more than I did there for the two days while I staid. — Last Summer I had some doubts about Politics—I read the State Papers in teh Weekly Register & the vent is I am a Republican. Start not I am (in some future letter I will explain my whole conversion) so that I was able to enter heartily into the rejoicing, for Vermonts noble example. We sat up late at Randolph to get the returns for the Election—at 11 (a fair pleasant night) a messenger came down from Montpellier all [?]—1500 majority from Galusha—we out with the old cannon—& fired away most gloriously, “Go tell thou gun the distant mountains that Republican Principles again Triumph.” — Next morn the Governor, Genl somebody, &c &c breakfasted at Uncle Dudleys. [?] days after Genl Brown the hero of Niagara passed through town. He was at Montpelier and more attention paid him than the Governor himself. The crowd surrounded his house & obliged the Genl to show himself & join the procession. I could Intrepid write all day concerning what I have seen. But I must desist—what I have already written will be quite overpowering to your facilities. I heard nothing of Cleveland. Your Poetry is very good. My “fertile muse” would not be of any use—seh is some how or other coquettish and when I want her the most—I can not find her. One or two pl[?] might be altered—the word true which you marked, ending a line. I will not say what I think of it—because you will be to abominably vain, but only that for piety, fervency, & sentiment it is superior. Such a subject must interest every Christian. Go on my Dear Friend & be sure & send me every production of your muse. Unite to me soon I beg of you—describe the place—every incident—fill up your letter sloser. My letters though I have [?? sideways text throughout??]

Letter to Intrepid Morse



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