Philander Chase



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Proud that his son is resisting the temptations and vices rampant at Cambridge. Update on the sicknesses in his family.




George Chase; Dudley Chase; Mrs. Sigourney; Nathaniel Bruce; Mr. Tudor; Mr. Brinley


Hartford Nov. 19th 1816

My dear Son Philander:

I am so well pleased with your letter of the 11th - inst. that I will give you as immediate reply though it be in few words. In my letter, however I will beg leave to incorporate the answer to your communication de die exhibitionis.

I like your candour above all things. It is the surest testimony of your upright intentions and correct deportment. So long as you let your Parents know all your affairs you’ll be pretty sure your case is not desperate. What is wrong they will forgive and endeavour to correct in future; and what is right they will applaud and please to your credit. I would not have you think by this general remark that we have discovered any things as yet comparable. No my dear Son, I am proud in the contemplation of your character in its first features to discover nothing but that on which you may build a reputation good and useful to yourself and the world.

I am glad to see that while you confine yourself to your own sphere in guiding your own steps - you are charitable towards others - no self created censor nor mean informer - firm in the rectitude of your own deportment unyielding to the solicitations of the vicious you can pity then, and by your good tho’ silent example endeavor to win them over to the side of virtue.

My eyes are filled with tears of delight when reading over what you wrote about the effect which the inebriation of your fellows had on your frame when they rudely burst into your room: and when contemplating the unshaken integrity of your [Chum] in resisting the temptations of his class-mates for a Row. O Heavens! If you did but know how disgusting such things are to me you would not wonder being my son, at your dislike to them - Cherish this distaste my son and extend it to all species of vice. It is a plant of virtue fixt in your bosom by the grace of God: it should, therefore, spread wide and overshadow the whole [face] of your character.

The character you give of your College, professors tutors Library and all was both amusing to me and honourable to yourself. You are minute without pedantry and just without censure - you praise without [?] - and express your reasons as a man of sense. Go on in this way my Son - and you’ll have approbation of your conscience and the esteem of the wise and good.

What you say of the Doctrine of the Ever Blessed Trinity pleases me. God be thanked that the Lamp of True faith is not quite extinguished by the mists of heresy ever in Cambridge. With an honest pious and humble mind I have no fear that you’ll be kept thro’ the power of God unto Salvation; in spite of all that Satan can do to seduce you from the faith once delivered unto the Saints.

I re’d last night a letter from your Dear Brother George. He’s occasionally troubled with severe turns of the headache: so much so that his physician is obliged to [?] his head and take from him in this way large quantities of blood. As to the policy of this mode of treatment perhaps I am not a judge - but my present impressions are that it is rather dangerous. I shall write to him, after consulting with [?]. Your mother is still afflicted with a deep hollow cough, which alarms me. Your Grandmother, tho’ lately somewhat is dispo[sed] is now much better. Dudley had a hard time of it, in getting his teeth. Still he is playful, and the most interesting child that ever lived - his brothers excepted.

Mrs. Sigourney is still very low in her health. A distressing cough has settled on her lungs and many [fears] are entertained of her condition. Mr. Jared Scarborough is near his end with the same complaint.

All our family send love to you, as if named in my letter - Your name is often, very often brought into conversation: and I’ll assure you, makes no cont[?] figure there. Henry Morgan, Lavinia’s Brother call’d on us last night. He has been living in the western part of the state of N.Y.; and is now living in Weathersfield, with a view to go into a store in N. York City. He inquired particularly after you and legged to be remembered. Tho. nearly of your age he’s not larger than Sheldon.

Mr. Nath’l Bruce, now in this town with his wife and child at his Father’s, is quite sick with the same disease which has of late attacked Mrs. Sigourney. It has not proceeded to a [separation] of the Lungs as that of Mr. Scarb’gh and Mrs. S. has, but much is feared that it will.

A subscription has been obtained to the am’t of $300 to rebuilt our organ. The work will be done in the course of this winter.

Your mother thanks you for the affectionate remembrances recorded in your letter: and in return begs me to assure you of all her love and pious wishes in your behalf.

At the request of Mr. and Mrs. Tudor, I have been writing a long letter to William, member of the Freshman class, New Haven. Sheldon and [?] are now copying it. Don’t forget me and your mother whenever you visit the excellent family of Mr. Brinley. Say every thing that gratitude mingled with the tenderest affection can suggest. Your loving Father.

Letter to Philander Chase, Jr.



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