Philander Chase



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Chase's plans to take a few students North to study have failed because the money is going to the erecting of a Church. He does not trust that the Vestry will fulfill this promise, but he has to stay in New Orleans. Last summer many people suffered a debilitating sickness.




New Orleans, LA


George Chase, Bethel, Sally, Polly, parents, church, New Orleans, legislature, salary


New Orleans Febru 14th 10.

My dear Sister,

Your kind letter of the 9th of last May never reached me till a few days ago. I sincerely wish you would prefer the public to a private mode of sending your letters - it is more sure and the expense is nothing to speak of.

Notwithstanding your letter was of an early date it gave us great satisfaction: We have read over as many times, at most, as there are lines in it, wish increasing pleasure - That you have learned the blessed lesson of Submission to the will of Heaven gives us plainly to understand that you enjoy all the happiness which is to be found in the valley of tears - Continue, and perfect this kind of science - the only thing that can make earth something like heaven.

Your account of our hon’d Parents is cheering - what would we give to see them! May God - the ever blessed God of our Fathers - sustain them in their declining days! Our darling Sons you say are well - We sincerely hope that George’s passion for military exercises will not so far make him lose his reason as to neglect his studies now or incline him to enter the army hereafter. I have seen so much of it here that I can not but pity all who are concerned in it.

Your information concerning all our friends in Bethel was very pleasing especially that Sister Sally bears up under her losses and that Almira is recovering - the death of our Cousin Polly Chase at Cornish was news to us - I believe, with you, he was an innocent and good young lady and that she is happier in another world. You will by this time of my letter expect to hear something of ourselves. But how shall I say any thing when all my fond hopes of returning to the land of my fore-fathers, the ensuing spring, are all at once destroyed? Pray don’t think me fickle - I have tried to do right and in so doing have followed the path which seemed to be pointed out by Providence. My people appeared unpardonably negligent - While my Salary was curtailed above one half there were no exertions making for building a Church. I had reason to think my labours were not like to produce any permanent effect in the establishing and building up the Church here; accordingly made up my mind to go back - proposed and eng’ed several scholars at 400 per year; and had good reasons to think my plan was approved by Heaven and would be blessed. At this stage of affairs my attention was arrested by a Petition to the Legislature for the grant of a lottery to fulfil the conditions on which I had all along promised to stay, [?] the erecting of Church. The vestry waited on me and begged a suspension of my designs of returning till the result of this Petition were known. Today one of them called on me and said that it had passed the lower house without a dissenting voice; and tomorrow or next day will receive the assent of the Council and Governor. Thus then it stands: and how can I, can I recede? My “lot is cast and the whole disposal thereof is of the Lord.” Perhaps I am never to see my native land and dear friends again! But of this I will still hope better things.

Tho. my salary has diminished - as I told you yes I am blessed in the confidence of the people and have a full school at a very high tuition. We have 8 or 10 Boarders mostly young [?] at $100, per quarter of a year and as many day scholars at 30, per [?]. To balance this our expenses are very high - for house - rent alone we pay between 6 and 700 dollars per year: and everything else is nearly in proportion. Something lower we shall be able to spare for the education of our darling boys and to assist others who claim our attention.

You have doubtless heard of our sufferings the last summer: Our Epidemic was general and very fatal. Sensible people are generally of an opinion that it was caused, at least, much heightened by the extraordinary inundation of our Country by the overflowing of the Mississippi. The banks during the [?] fall house all been greatly raised and secured. [?] we hope to avoid this evil the ensuring [?].

[P]ray do write to me often: my heart is among you and my prayers are for you. Tell me everything th[at] passes - What is trivial to you, remember is great to little me removed so far away.

Our best love to your dear husband and brother Timothy. Mr. and Mrs. Fay our hon’d parents we expect, ere this are removed to Randolph for the education of their two lovely Boys.

Dear Brothers and Sister! “Their [?] the mirror of my former years, and fond remembrance blends it with my tears.” Why don’t dear sister Alice write to me? Our letter from her communicative pen would be worth volumes of trash like mine. Farewell dear dear Sister! May the Good God ever bless and keep you and your dear family. Most affectionately I am

Your brother

Philander Chase

Letter to Rachel Denison



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