Dudley Chase



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Responds to a letter, giving his opinion of George's undertaking of an expedition.


Winter 12-6-1816


Expedition, Lewis and Clarke, territory, United States, Canada, Government, boundary


Washington December 6th, 1816

Dear George,

Your highly esteemed favor of the 1st [?] is [received] and very attentively preserved. It is with [?] pleasure that I observe in your letter the honorable ambition which prompted you to [form], and the very flattering confidence that induced you to communicate to me, the project therein developed. Your studies of late have been [calculated] to excite a taste for such an expedition, and your zeal to engage in it is certainly praiseworthy; [and] I have not the smallest doubt that your information and argument amply qualify you to acquit yourself in the undertaking with horror.

If the object of the [Govt] in sending Gen[era]l Porter & Colo[nel] Hawk[en] to the Lake of the Wood, was to obtain a knowledge of the geography of that distant and hitherto unexplored section of our community -- to ascertain its soil, mines, minerals, fossils, its vegetable and mineral production, the organization of a [company] of men of learning and [service] to accompany the commissioners would be highly proper. Such was the object of the Gov[ernmen]t when the expedition under Lewis and Clarke was projected. In hope the [?] you allude to, that the Government neglected to engage a suitable number of men of service to attend that expedition, even just. But I apprehend that the [business] of the [?] above mentioned is of a different nature having little a [?] [?] to [abject?] of that sort. The ascertainment of the boundary line between the United States and the Province of Upper Canada in the only business that [constitutes] the official duty of the [Govt]. The main hommel of the rivers and the middle of the lakes, which separates the adjacent territories of the communities are to be ascertained and delineated. The line will be a water-line nearly if not quite the whole way. The bone of contention, will be the islands that lay in the rivers and lakes through which the line [?]. Besides, the [?] of this survey are to be born by the two nations jointly, and my arrangements for researches and examinations which are to result in the special expectation benefit of one only of the two countries will not be likely to receive the cooperation of the other.

However, it may be that the Executive Authority has made some calculations to avail the United States of the opportunity for the [purpose] of obtaining a knowledge of that section of our Country, so desirable , which would have highly [be] useful to the Nation. The opportunity is certainly safe though it may not in other respects be apropos.

I will, my dear George, enquire with the [?] and intentions of the Government in relation to this subject, and if there is any intention of the [stature] you mention, I will not fail to obtain for you a place suited to your wishes, in one or the other of the expeditions alluded to. The wish you have [?], meets with my cardinal approbation.

I cannot but think that the Government will not deem it proper to use the occasion in the way you have imagined. Should therefore [advise] you not to engage your feeli[ngs] too much in the expectation of [being] [?].

I am, Dear George,

Yours most affectionately,

Dudley Chase

Letter to George Chase



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