Philander Chase



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Does not agree that his sons should start college so young; more complaints about money issues; Chase has still been sick but his wife is feeling better, and she wants to go home next summer.




New Orleans, LA


Salmon Cotton, Phil Ruggles, college, Poughkeepsie NY


New Orleans Sep 10th 1810

My dear Brother,

Just three months from the date of your letter of the 9th of June it was received. The cause of this delay I understand to have been some new but unsuccessful arrangement of the mail. Late as it came, however, it afforded us pleasure which we cannot describe. In point of fraternal affection and domestic intelligence it exceeds, and in so doing fulfills our hearts’ best wishes. Receive our warmest thanks, dear Brother, and be assured that our prayers to God in your behalf, are very fervent. Long may He preserve and bless you!

I am rejoiced to hear of the continued health and quietness of our hon. and aged Parents - To see them once more I feel to be one of my fondest wishes; which, if not gratified, will constitute a severer trial of my faith and resignation to the will of Heaven, than, perhaps, my maker has seen fit lay upon me. The excellent description of your visits to them, in May last, makes me fully sensible of this. What would I have given to have been with you! Their retired repose is the exact thing for which I now sigh, and if gilded by the bright, mild, beams emanating from the declining days of dear Parents it would be the [?] of my fondest wishes. Long since tired of the world, I have, ever and anon, dwelt upon something like this - yet this - alas! When will it be attained?

That you say of the dear, darling Boys is no less satisfactory than the news of our Parents. Their progress in learning, their continued good health, their increase in stature, and above all their approved moral deportment prompts the frequent - the heartfelt sigh of gratitude to Heaven and you; as well they may; for he who is not religious and gratefully moved at such tidings as these must have a heart of stone.

Relative to the subject of their going to College so young I am most sincerely and decidedly opposed to it though your arguments to that effect seem not only to be dictated by an unbounded zeal for the boys’ welfare, but good sense much sound reasoning. My wife and self have, however, canvassed the matter both pros and cons, and th. we have great confidence in the discretion and good understanding of their proposed companion Salmon C. Cotton our excellent nephew, yet all things considered we dare not venture them. They are not and cannot be as yet sufficiently armed with reason and good principles to combat the enemy - an enemy more formidably exhibited at College than anywhere else in the whole [?] of [?]. Pray therefore dear dear Brother, let the matter rest for the moment - If they want subjects for study - turn their attention to reviewing and to Geography. Penmanship and a familiar tho. Chastised style of writing might well occupy several months: nothing will assist them more in pressing their way thro. a world governed principally by their eyes and fanciful tastes.

While I was writing the above another good letter you dated Albany Aug. 8. was handed me: and as I am now about it I shall take the liberty of condensing my answer to both in one. Your attention to my request in attending to my Pough. Business keeps up the pleasure of gratitude in my bosom which is now more than I am well express to you. My affairs, however, have turned out badly - and were I not before, I am now convinced that nothing of mine ever has or ever will prosper in that devoted village - If when first came to this country I had taken my wife alone along with me and abandoned all my property there to the vestry, Sexon, and the prowling harpies, I should have been the gainer - for the money that I took hence back to Po. when returning from my first visit almost doubles the sum which I find by Mr. R’s statement will fall to my share. Why has every portion which I had with so much labour and vexation earned there been [?] committed by those who proposed to be Curators or the Lord’s inheritance - behold the angry Billows and winds armed against the remnant I had embarked for their this place and then look at Ruggle’s statement! There is a Superior and invisible [?] that has ordered all this for my punishment and my trial - I submit and must and will believe all is for the best.

And now dear Brother for de nobis - et nostris rebus. I have been sick, as I have told you - the fever left me in a languid state; more so than it ever has been before. Even now my hand is unsteady from consequent weakness. My wife, however, thanks to a kind Providence, has, with very few interruptions, enjoyed good health better than for many years past.

I still keep-school tho. The warm weather has driven many of my pupils out of town. Having taken an expensive house (rent at the rate of $1000, per ann.) prospects [?] not so bright an aspect as they did. Yet I do not and will not comp[lain] that the wheel (which is rapid kind of machine in [?]) will turn again in my favour. My wife says “she will go home next summer!” ...Wh[?] you to this? And what will become of me? - Must I [?] all-done-to fight the mon[?] and the fever! [?] I not completely tired of forming plans for the [?]. I could give you some conjuctural sketches and [?] on the subject - but at present, shall content myself with [?] and hope you will do the same. Whatever, when next spring comes, if come it ever do to me, whatever, then, seems best and my duty that, with God’s assistance, I shall endeavor to perform.

So with this, dear Brother, I bid you adieu! Adieu my Brother - thou friend of juvenile days - thou dearest friend of my Ripe years! Adieu! My darling Boys! Ye dear objects of my love, for whose welfare in time I toil; and for whose happiness in Eternity I pray. My dear wife joins in all love to you, your dear wife, and the dear Boys; yea, to all our relations friends and neighbours.

Ever most affectionately

Your brother

Philan. Chase

Letter to Dudley Chase



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