George Chase



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George asks his uncle to send more newspapers when he can, updates him on affairs in Randolph and Bethel, and discusses their family.




Aunt Chase, Dudley Chase Jr., Albion, Attakapas Gazette, Massachusetts Journal, S.B. French, Esq. Weston, Mr. French, Mr. Blodgett, Seth Washburn, Captain Cotton, Mr. Ford, Mr. Moulton, Mr. Waldo, Mr. Durkee, Captain Fitts, Mr. Hutchinson, Mr. Chadwick, Mr. Fisk, Mr. Wilbur, George Barker, Mr. Williams, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Braggs, Mr. Coggswell, Mr. Simon Jones, Olivia Chase, Betsey Chase, Salmon Chase


Randolph January 25. 1826

My Dear Uncle,

I thank you sincerely for your two kind letters of Jan. 10 & Jan. 18 rec’d today. For this answer I shall have to beg the same indulgence as for my other letters–i.e. that you will not look upon it with a critic’s eyes but receive it for what it is worth–a mere hasty scrawl. In a letter to Aunt Chase which also came this morning, inclosing one to our little friend Dudley, there is a passage which seems to express the opinion that we have not rec’d all the papers which you have enclosed to us. I had not thought it necessary to mention them particularly as I rec’d them, but I will will [sic] here recapitulate those that have been rec’d that you may judge whether any have missed or not. The Albion’s (which bye the bye, is the best conducted paper of the kind I ever saw–superior to any English paper–& I have had an opportunity of seeing the most respectable) has been regularly rec’d. No nos. are missing. One Attakapas Gazette–3 Baltimore papers, the last containing Mr [Tryon]’s speech on the [Jew] Bill. The Albions I shall carefully preserve for your own amusement on your return. If you have sent any other papers (I had written thus far when I recollected the Massachusetts Journal No. 1 by [Messrs] [Frosts]) I am very sorry that they have not been rec’d. Every thing in the shape of a newspaper is I assure you, interesting to me in these dull [?] times.

I have seen Mr S. B. French within a few days, & he has very earnestly urged me to write to you & give you a statement of his affairs. He says that it is necessary to hear from you before any steps can be taken for his relief. I did not think proper to [wage] any inquiry respecting what he expected of you, but do not think it amiss to state what I know relative to his affairs. It appears that one of the notes for $4 or 500 on which the suit agt. him was commenced had not been out 48 hours. The whole amount of the debts for which his goods are attached is about $1000. He thinks, & his friends also think, that the Attachment was brought about by the envy & misstatements of some enemy. He has told me in confidence the particular person he suspects, he is an Arab, but I do not feel at liberty to mention his name. From a condensed & apparently fair statement of Mr French’s affairs made out by Esq. Weston, it appears that he is worth after all debts are paid about or rather more than $1000. This has revived the confidence of his friends & I learn that Gen. French, John French Jr., Aaron [Storn], Seth Washburn, [Jo] Blodgett & others have determined to place him in a situation to recommence business–where an answer shall be rec’d from you.

If you should ask me my sincere opinion respecting Sam French, in answer I should sincerely say that I know nothing against him, of which you are not already aware – & that I believe the statement respecting his debts dues &c is perfectly fair on his part.

The [porck] had scarcely been brought home from Bethel when Capt. Cotton came to Randolph with Mr Moulton, having sold the whole including the 2 hogs killed at home to Ford and Moulton at 4 ½ cts for its present wt. – the shrinkage would make it about equal to 4 ¼ when weighed fresh. F. and M. gave a note for about $112 payt. on demand with interest. Horace is disappointed in not being able to go to Boston, but it is well perhaps as it is – for there is enough [teaming] to do this winter. Today he drew 335 feet ¼ inch from Waldos. Mr Waldo was not at home, but I shall take the first opportunity of seeing him relative to the lot of land which he wishes to purchase – & inform him upon what terms you are willing to sell.

Aunt Chase has lately written to you, & no doubt given you all the information that can be gleaned. She read to me some part of her letter relating to Mr Durkee & I perfectly agree with her in opinion. I do not think she has been as severe as the case would warrant. According to Mr Durkees own statement – if I did not feel some lingering friendship for him – I might say that his conduct appears to be destitute of everything like principle & honor. I put this letter under an inflammatory injunction–that it may not hereafter rise up in judgment against me, if I should ever hereafter see fit to alter my present opinion. Aunt Chase also read to me her letter to my little brother Dudley. I do not know how it may appear to you but it struck me as one of the most affecting compositions of the kind I ever read. My poor letter, especially my last, must wear such a slovenly dress, that you no doubt think me a very negligent and lazy correspondent.

I am not fishing for a compliment, & I hope it is not true, as you once told me, that I could not live without flattery. If you will not find fault is all that I wish. If you have a taste for the marvellous, perhaps I can gratify you in one instance. Capt. [Fitts] of Braintree, has suddenly disappeared & it was supposed that he had committed suicide. He dressed himself in the poorest clothes he had–gave his pocket book, containing about $150 to his wife–took his gold earrings from his ears & gave them to his daughter–made his will &c – & at night left his house with the assertion that they never should see him again. His wife, with whom it seems he did not live on the best terms imaginable, did not cause a search to be made until the ensuing morning, when she alarmed the neighbours. But there was no trace of her husband. Then was the time for wonder & conjecture. Thousands of circumstances were remembered confirming the idea that he had thrown himself under the ice &c &c. But unfortunately for the half of Randolph & Braintree that were out in search of the body, a Mr Hutchinson returned from over the mountain & relieved the popular anxiety by the information that a person exactly answering the description of Capt. [Fitts] had been seen near Middlebury on his way to the West.

Before closing this letter I cannot avoid mentioning our circumstance that appeared very singular at the time. Mr Sam. Chadwick & myself endeavoured to find how our a/cs stood. He brot. in a charge of 4 days work dated the 25. Nov. Up to the 19. Nov. our a/c agreed tolerably well. I had been very particular, & by mentioning particulars, had corrected his in several unimportant particulars, “but the 4 days. Mr Chadwick, you was there at work at Mr Fords. On the 19th Mr Fisk, French &c were here, & you were discharged on the same evening – you all took supper at Uncle Chases. I moved into the house on the 26 (Saturday) & that week no one but Mr Wilber and & app’l were to work here.” I felt anxious to find some excuse for the mistake & told him that “he must have mistook & charged us with what he ought to have charged Sam. Ford.” But he could not be convinced, altho’ I assured him that I could prove by 20 witnesses that he was not here at the time he had charged. I was careful to say nothing that should irritate & we parted with good humour. But, altho’ it gives me pain to find those whom we respected, dishonest, I cannot avoid thinking that Sam. is not as careful upon these points a he ought to be. One or two other circumstances have contributed to strengthen this impression. I am sorry, very sorry, because I had understood that he had supported his mother & younger brothers by his own industry, & I had invested him with attributes that I am afraid are not his [due]. He seemed to think that because I was very polite & civil, I should be so in all cases, without regard to the interest of my employer.

Geo Barker & the Mayor have both been to see me & we have talked over their business. As far as I can judge George intends to keep the books perfectly fair – & knowing the Mayor would not be satisfied with any permanent arrangements which had not your consent, the business is to remain in statu quo until your return. Barker & [Spooner] to br. all the stock to Barker & Miller which B & M bo’t. last fall &c. George is prepared to settle the Boston debt – he will proceed there in a few days.

I have lately been to visit some of my neighbours. Mr Williams is engaged in his furnace works making about $5 a day clear of expense. It is a kind of business which he likes to follow, & I have reason to believe is doing much better than he ever was before. My next door neighbor Mr Murphy has also his $2 per day & can receive employment whenever he chooses as a millwright. I will not conceal from you that I feel a [species] of envy at their good fortune – altho’ when I seriously take myself to task for my discontent I am ashamed that I should ever indulge in it, when I reflect how happily I am situated & from what a gulf I have been rescued.

I have made preparations, by fixing up our old saw & getting Dear Wilber to make me a fireplace, as soon as I can work in the chamber without being frozen to death to prepare the pickets for the fence, out of the remnants & then from the boards as soon as they can be drawn from Mr Braggs – &c &c

My Dear & most excellent wife desires me to return you thanks for [your] good wishes – ‘thanks’ is too cold a word to use – we [cannot] better express ourselves than by saying that every comfort we enjoy is thro’ your means & your benevolence.

Looking over your letter I would remark in regard to Mr Coggswell, that not one of the a/c put into Mr Westons hands was he directed to [sue] until he had your particular directions. Moreover I told Mr Weston particularly in regard to Mr Coggswell not to trouble him unless he was preparing to move to the West, in which case it was proper that he should pay the a/c by hook or by crook before his departure.

Jan 26. At your house

I am very glad to inform you in justice to Mr Sam. Chadwick, that he has been here & informed Aunt Chase that he had discovered the error in his account & that mine was perfectly correct. He expressed great regret at the circumstance & wished to see me very much.

Poor old Mr Simon Jones died last night supposed in a fit. He came home perfectly well & was not in the least intoxicated as his folks say.

Salmon will write soon – Mary says she shall also write to you in the course of a week. Olivia & Betsey are still at Bethel. All your family are well. You see that in obedience to Aunt Chase I have filled my letter with all the suicides deaths &c &c & I hope that the news it conveys may not be unacceptable in your leisure moments.

Adieu my dear Uncle

I remain your affectionate Nephew,

Geo. Chase

Hon. Dudley Chase

Washington City

Letter to Dudley Chase



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