Philander Chase



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Chase describes his stay with Henry Clay and his visits with various people while in Washington. He thanks his wife for her letters and asks her to give his love to their family in Ohio.




Henry Clay, Rev. Mr. Hawley, Robert Vaughan, Dudley Chase, Mr. Talbot, Mrs. Talbot, Rev. Mr. Allen, Gulian Verplanck, Mr. Boothe, Capt. Brothe, Mr. Royce, General Harrison, Judge Cranch, Mr. Sparrow, Alexandria


Morning Tuesday

Washington City

7th of Feb. 1826

My Dear Wife,

Mr. Clay’s polite & most friendly invitation to be a member of his family while in this City was, as you may easily imagine most gratefully accepted; and I am now at his house treated with all the kindness and hospitality which have ever distinguished the personal and domestic relations of that distinguished gentleman.

On Saturday I dined with the Rev Mr. [Hawley] who lives in great comfort in a snug house not far from the Presidents. It was there I saw & had much conversation with Jh’u. [Finnis] whom with his sisters you knew near Greenvale. He has been very ill having escaped death only with life & very shattered constitution. His two sisters are with him the elder quite delicate in her heath and the younger become quite pious. I am to dine with them today. Mr. Hawley & myself called on the British Minister Mr. Vaughan. He is a plain man & well spoken of.

I went from Mr. Hawley’s dinner to Browns Hotel where I found Brother Dudley with a packet of letters from you, which cheered my heart not a little. The Letter to Dear Mother he immediately [packed]; tho’ I did not seal it till I had tasted the great pleasure of reading it. Like delicious fruit the last taste of your excellent letters always seems the best. I was misinformed about Theodore Talbot: neither he nor Mrs. T. is in Wash.

I staid at Mr. Clay’s on Saturday [night] and on Sunday morning according to appointment the Rev. Mr. Allen sent a carriage for me to come and preach for him. I was quite sick with the [prevailing] influenza, but went and got on better than I expected. Mr. A. lives two miles from Mr. Clay, down towards Alexandria. He re’d me most kindly and has an amiable family & every pious well educated Brother. This last & I hope to persuade to go with me to Ohio. He is not yet a candidate but intends soon to be. He has taught in the classes for many years.

Brother D. Gulian Verplank, & Mr. Whittleby attended Church: & Brother D. drank tea & spent the evening with us at Mr. Allen’s where they persuaded me to stay all night. Brother D. went to his lodgings near the Capitol. At Mr. A’s in the evening were Old Mr. Boothe & his Daughter. Young Cap’t. Brothe of the Navy his son & wife from Norwick Connect. well acquainted with Mr. Sigourney & formerly a pupil of Mr. Royce in Hartford. Evening was spent in a full flow of religious conversation.

On Monday morning he went to see the Navy Yard where Brother Dudley joined us. – took coach with him & rode by the Capitol to the ‘Presidents’ to whom I was introduced, & who invited me to dine with him on Tuesday. ([Mem]) Gen’l Harrison called on me on saturday night. – On God’s blessing alone I depend for the success of my plans. Some missionaries I think I shall get. We are to have a meeting of the Clergy in Alexa. next week: Where, I trust, something will be done for me. Previously to receiving your letter I had written a note to Judge Cranch signifying my arrival in Town and on act. the excellent man [men’t.] I had re’d. Of him thro’ the medium of our mutual relations, my great desire to see him. But as yet I have got no answer. He has moved to Alexan. Both he & his family have withdrawn themselves from the Commission of the Church on their holding the “Unitarian Principles!!

I am to be much engaged this day and shall have but little time to write you. But remember my heart is with you and the dear Children. Dr. Sister T. Mr. Sparrow Lucia & all O may God bless you! Do pray for me a poor Pilgrim but ever your affectionate & faithful P. Chase

Letter to Sophia Chase



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