Philander Chase



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Chase hopes to create a bookstore for the institution so as to ease student demand for books and to establish a printing press. He asks Rev. Boyd to implore Mr. Potter, a bookseller in Philadelphia, to send over some classical books and proposes a partnership with him.




Board of Trustees, Mr. Potter, Prayer Book, bookstore


Rev. & Dear Brother,

I must beg your patience with me while I obtrude some of the secular affairs of our Seminary upon you and request your kind interference.

Having few means of acquiring a classical education in this wilderness country our young men are generally quite unprepared for pursuit of Theology according to our Canons without some years previous and laborious study. This has driven us to institute academic and collegiate courses, and these require many school books & these school books cannot be had in our poor country “bookstores.”

Now what in this case to be done? Is every young man to send hither & thither for a book & perhaps be obliged after all to send to the East before he can be accomodated? Surely not. He must have a bookstore belonging to the Institution and the profits if any be applied to the education of pious young men for the Ministry. The Trustees have not as yet authorized such a thing. It was not thought of when we met at the Convention nor till the demand for books has shown it necessary. I must myself become personally responsible for this as for all other things at their commencement of this business. In asking myself what Book-Seller at the East would be the most liberal intelligent & obliging I thought of Mr. Potter of Philadelphia. If he would prove our friend in this matter I have no doubt it would prove eventuate greatly to his advantage. We shall become printers ourselves. A donation to carry our plan in this respect into effect has been made (separate from the general fund in Eng’d) to the amt. of 300£ sterling a part of which having been permitted to me the press has been purchased and the types from “Old England” are daily expected. Besides these we have the stereotypes from our Prayer Book on the way.

If rightly executed this plan will put our institution in possession of considerable means & those who by mutual exchange are connected with us will find a benefit. I tell this plain story that Mr. Potter may see what is before him. Ask him if he will send us from time to time what Classical books we want to sell to our students on commission at the annual discount of 33 ½ percent it being understood that he befriends us by receiving the works which we printed at the same rate. For the present I shall hold myself responsible according to this proposal to pay Mr. Potter or return the books to his order. The freight hither I shall pay: that in returning the books if any be returned is to be borne by him.

In accounting with the Missionary Society of this Diocese I made myself Dr. for the money contributed by the Ladies in Charleston S. Carolina. I have no minute that I ever drew on you for it or that I even re’d it. Pray have the goodness to certify my mind on this head as soon as may be and much obliged again your most faithful and humble Friend & Brother in Christ Jesus our Lord,

Phi’r Chase

Worthington Ohio

Aug’t 3, 1825

To the Rev. George Boyd

P.S. Send the books by the Lake Erie Canal to Portland commonly called Sandusky City care of D.B. & C. Bush of that place with orders to forward the same to me.

Letter to Rev. George Boyd



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