Philander Chase



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Chase is impressed by the majesty of the York Minster cathedral and compares it to Niagara Falls.




London, England


Chase's copy, England voyage, Niagara Falls, Stratton Hall


10 Featherstone Buildings

Holborn London May 20 1824

Very Dear Lady:

When the mind is deeply affected with uncommon event or objects, silence is the best expression of our feelings. This is no solicism [sic] but is exemplified in many in [Thames?]. When last summer I visited the Falls of Niagara, my wife and children were with me; and as we drew near that vast cataract felt the trembling of the earth beneath our feet and saw the rising sun pictured on the bosom of an awful cloud rolling its curling, columns to the skies I could say nothing and could do nothing but press the hands on my lovely babes in silent awe. To me it seemed that God was making himself known through his works. For myself to speak would seem to mar the scene and interrupt the majesty of High Heaven: We looked one whom another and in [silence] lifted our eyes with reverence to God the Maker of all things and the [sage] of all men.

Something of this kind was renewed in my mind on my visit to that wonderful structure of Art, the York Minster. It was uncommonly beautiful and majestic. The mind in beholding it would wish to retire within itself an unseen by mortal eye indulge in feelings of admiration and praise to Him who could put it into the hearts of his people to erect such a temple to the glory of his name. The like also has been experienced when after a storm at sea the [serene] sky appears and the Sun breaks forth in his glory. God’s goodness is so sudden and conspicuous that language is stifled in feelings of wonder, gratitude and praise.

I would not assign a reason why I have thus address your Ladyship but that I might [thereby] carve out a rude representation of the state of mind and feelings into which I was thrown by the contents of the last note from Stretton Hall.

Ever since the year 1814 when first I stepped my foot on the ground of my future [?] in the west of America I have been struggling with difficulties: and altho’ thro’ God’s mercy I have been borne up by the divine promises and the object of many thou send [undeserved] [blessings] yet my hands were tied and the work before me languished: and when to seek relief for [August’s] [scattered] [fold] I had come to this country, I found myself overshadowed with a cloud as gloomy as it was unexampled. And tho’ my conscience was clear in the path of duty yet that path was [strewed] with thorns and beset with foes. Some late in [Thames?] also had conspired to give sharpness to the one and [fury] to the other. It was at this juncture that God lifted up the light of his merciful countenance upon me and pictured as in the expanse of an [ebon] cloud the promise of his goodness on my gloomy prospects. Your Ladyship and other good friends were raised up by means almost miraculous to convince me that God hath all hearts in his hands and that he alone is worthy to be praised.

I take the liberty of inclosing to your Ladyship, under a frank from Lord Kenyon, the appeal mentioned.

Most faithfully your L’s grateful and obedient

Philander Chase

Letter to Lady Rosse



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