George Chase



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George expresses gratitude for Intrepid Morse's last letter and gives him some advice regarding a decision between Fairfield and Cheshire. He describes his experience of seeing a steamboat, as well as how beautiful his new school and New Haven are. He admits he has not made many friends, at least not friends as close as Intrepid Morse.




New Haven


Intrepid Morse, George Chase, Hartford, Cheshire, Fairfield, New Haven, West Rock, steamboat, faith, prayer, school, college


Yale College July 8, 1815

My dear Friend. More than a month has elapsed since the date of your letter;—and what a letter! With what emotions of pleasure, and gratitude towards your benefactor did I not read it. Their victories in Canada could not have raised him so high, as this one silent action. To what what can we attribute it but to the purest of motive when he desires it “might not be mentioned”! He must enjoy the “luxury of doing good.” I hope you have received the letter my Father wrote, at my request knowing his advice would be so much preferable to any I could give. His opinion concerning Fairfield and Cheshire coincides with my own ardent wishes. You can easily imagine the pleasure we shall feel, again meeting after so long a separation we should see each other often, for thirteen miles only will divide us.

But after all, do not let these considerations sway you to do any thing contrary to this wishes of your friends in Troy & Albany.

Mr Bronson in so much preferable in sound learning to Mr Barbar there can be no hesitation which to choose. Cheshire to be sure has its inconvenience, the people a paltry dap of yankees, but if they give you food, you can bear with any rebuffs you may meet with. A cold silence on your part will keep them at a proper distance, and whatever they may say I hope will be indifferent with you, “unconscious of them all”

Besides this is looking on the darkest side of the question The wishes of your Patron however ought to have the greatest influence with you—if he is opposed to Cheshire—why I suppose you must go to Fairfield seventy miles further distant. In which case we must redouble our activity in writing.

I entered the last quarter Sophomore year, but shall be a Junior in a few weeks. Our class is esteemed a very good one, exclusive of a little fustian which belongs to Sophomores from the first Colleges to the last. We recite three times a day—at 5 and 11 AM—5PM. With the manners of the Students I am not at all pleased—however I am not disappointed for it is nothing more than what I expected.

As to forming new friendships, it is rather doubtful. I have seen none & expect to see none with whom I could find that congeniality of sentiment we so often have enjoyed together. Our friendship my dear [coz] has been long tryed and I hope is lasting. Sam Huntington with whom I was acquainted before my entrance into College at Hartford, has taken a room with me at Mr Alwaters. He is I believe a good-hearted excellent young man.—New Haven with its environs is one of the most pleasant towns in the United States. A short time since I visited West Rock, about three miles northwest of the Sound. I ascended the hill with considerable difficulty—but was amply repaid by the delightful prospect there exhibited. A little village with a pond and mills immediately under the brow of the mountain—the Town with its spires—the Fort—the Sound whitened with sails and studded with Light-Houses—the blue distant shore of Long Island and the serene sky above our heads altogether form’d a rich and varied landscape. In company with Same. H.—I visited the Light-House five miles from this place at the entrance of the Harbour. The wind was high and the waves beat with violence against the Promontory of Rocks. In viewing the saltwater of the Ocean—succeeding one another and forever restless, there is something that inspires melancholy feelings. We look upon them, and with our eye follow wave after wave, while our mind carries us back in recollection to scenes long gone past. We saw the Steam Boat like a black speck on the horizon at a great distance down Sound, with a mist above caus’d by the escape of steam. We waited for her approach and while admiring her beautiful workmanship and the rapidity with which she cut the waves, we thought of the man who had strength to conceive a work so eminently useful to America. The advantages will be immense,—I may perhaps say incalculable. The navigation of our vast lakes and rapid rivers will be carried on almost entirely by these. One has been already built of the Mississippi. (All this my dear Friend Pass’d in my mind at the Light-House.) Do not think that amid these scenes, you have been forgotten. No my dear Friend with every new object & new book the wish that you were present to participate in my pleasures has been invariably associated. Why can not this harmless wish be gratified—Remember! Last Sunday I attended Church and partook of the Communion. It was the first time of Mr. Croswells administering that holy Sacrament, and he seemed greatly affected at its sublime and noble sentiments. We cast our eyes across the ocean of Time and behold beyond its troubled surface, the region of eternity. Though shaded by clouds from our sight their is enough to convince us there is behind a place of everlasting unconceived happiness and a place of everlasting torment and despair. How insignificant are our enjoyments in comparison—they vanish like a Taper before the sun. Let us therefore pledge ourselves before the altar to endeavour to attain ages of happiness by fighting manfully under the banner of our lord Jesus Christ—there let us mingle hearts in the joyful hope of meeting again in the region of unfading flowers, of a blessed Eternity. Pray for another—we have need of bosoms on which we can lean for support—even the slightest temptation shakes our resolution. Oh my cousin need I tell you how sinful I have been—day & days have I pass’d without offering a single prayer to God—the lips m[?] but the mind is far distant. I set my affection to much on [?] world—I am ambitious— [in] [part] for fame—it intrudes into prayers & though I cast it out it still returns in all its [seducing] forms. You ask me which preponderates Pain or Pleasure? I will answer you by looking back on my past life—I there find not one expectation has been realized—I see misery arising from crime—would I live it over again?—No. And what more can I expect in future?

You wish to know how you can compense the generosity of your noble Friend. He does not wish you to give him a pecuniary recompense—the road is plain—your duty;—which permit me to say with your feelings & sentiments I have not the least doubt but you will perform.

To whichever place you go Cheshire or Fairfield I beg you to inform me as soon as possible if to Cheshire I shall endeavour to meet you there. We will again wander through “Hulls Place” the “forest” where we so delightfully bathed one evening in the sky? Farewell my dear Friend

I ever remain yours affectionately, George Chase

Letter to Intrepid Morse



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