Philander Chase



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Chase updates his wife on what he has been doing over the past few days, including discussing possible lands to purchase for the Seminary and making plans to lay out the town.




Alum Creek, Dr. McClary, Zanesville, Newark, Mr. Stansberry, Betsey Reed, Mr. Munn, Judge Holmes, Granville, Mr. Jenks, Mr. Carpenter, Mr. Landen, Rev. Washbourne, George Prince, Mr. Mainard


Berkshire Mar. 19. 1825

½ past 4 AM

Dear Wife,

You will join me in very sincere thanks to a kind Providence who has led on & most signally [?] my steps in seeking the prosperity of Religion and learning. Last Saturday (holiday week) we traversed the proposed site and adjacent lands for our Seminary on Allum Creek and found them most congenial to our taste. Sunday Divine service at Berkshire Monday set off with Dr. Maclary for Zanesville, & staid at Newark that night. Saw Mr. Stansberry Eng’d. who promised his assistance in obtaining the legislature next session. The Salt Section for our College Tuesday arrived in Zanesville saw [?] Betsey Reed who gave us 1000 acres from off the south part of her half section on Allum Creek & secured to us 900 more if we choose to take it at $2.50/100 per acre. Same evening with Dr. McClary called on Mr. Jonas Stansberry who, in case, Mr. Munn, a joint lawyer, consent, has secured to us 1125 acres being a part of a section that comes on that of Mrs. R on the northeast.

Wednesday wrote letters & obtained others from Mr. Stansberry & borrowed $150 in states money of [Mr.] Morehead all of which I gave to Dr. McClary with my hearty prayer for God’s blessing and sent him to New York New Jersey and Rhode Island to see the several owners of lands lying near those already given us.

Thursday returned to New Ark and staid at William Stansberry's Esq, saw the Printer who [stuck] effectual might the included notice. Mr. Stansberry renewed with great interest his promise to get us the Salt Section (4,000 acres the best of lands in Delaware county above us some miles). Set off for the Berkshire called on Judge Holmes who promised to be with us Monday and Tuesday next with his compass to lay off the town for the Seminary on the premises so as to be ready for the [Ball] on Wednesday. Left Granville called on Mr. Jenks who highly approving of everything done gave me his promise that 20 or 30 shall come to the [Ball] on Wednesday. He rode with me on the way about 4 miles. Called on my way to Johnston at Mr. Carpenter’s, who told me that the people in that vicinity would be all alive to this business. Dined at Johnston with Mr. Landen. Several of the neighbors came in who were most anxious for the accomplishments of the plan & who will bring many to the [Ball]. A person accompanied me to Stansberry & by him I wrote to the Rev. Mr. Washbourne my good friend in Genoa who will inform all who down on Big Walnut. Arrived at George Prince’s Berkshire about 7 P.M. Many of the neighbours came in: all rejoicing: will give notice in every direction: so that there is a prospect that there will be a greater company of men and more trees felled next Wednes. than on any day or in any place since the settlement of the Western Country. How sublime the sight to see a thousand men at work & for such a purpose and the whole forest nodding obedience yea bowing low at God’s command in the fulfillment of his Holy prophecy, that Religion & learning shall prevail, that “the wildness and solitary place shall bestand before them (the Members of his Church) & the desert shall bud & blossom as the rose.”

Let Mr. Mainard have [Sorrel] & come see us on Wednesday. [?] I should rejoice to see him on Mon: Tues.* I expect Mr. Jameson & Mr. Little to assist me on Monday & Tuesday in laying out the town.

Ever yours,


*Let him bring his provisions with him

Letter to Sophia Chase



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