George Chase



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George updates his uncle on the lives of their family members and the people of Randolph.




Mr. Grover, Bethel, Aunt Chase, Henry Clay, Mr. Clapp, Aunt Dennison, Mary Batchelder, Uncle Cotton, Aunt Smith, Cornish, Aunt Molly, Ada Smith, Capt. Cotton, Mr. Russell, Mr. Eddy, Esq. Weston, S.B. French, Mrs. Nichols, Mrs. Starkweather


Randolph Feb 7, 1826

My Dear Uncle,

I have but a moments time to write before it will be necessary

Feb. 9. I intended to have completed the above line with “before it will be necessary for me to go to the Post Office with my letter.” I was writing here quietly in the kitchen to the new house – when a screech & cry of ‘George’ ‘George’ arrested my attention & called me to the door – I looked down into the orchard & there I saw my wife with her daughter in her arms & Mr Grover taking quite a circumbendibus movement in the cutter drawn by his [wild] grey colt. They fortunately barked only one apple tree before they succeeded in stopping the horse – He was suddenly frightened by the snow coming off from the roof – The hurry & fright that my poor wife was in & the news she had to tell me from Bethel occupied so much time that I had no time that afternoon to compleat [sic] my letter to my “truly affectionate, old & absent Uncle.”

You will perceive by the foregoing quotation that I have received your truly excellent & entertaining letter of Feb 1. The “Oh [Sare] you must be one very ‘appy man” amused Aunt Chase & the girls to whom I read it very much. I presume that no one at the Dinner of Secretary Clay laughed more heartily at the anecdote than we did as it was related in your letter. In the Albion I notice quite a laughable story entitled “The Adventures of a good Story”. I intend that the LaFayette story shall have an equally fortunate destiny – Mr Clapp did not come to Bethel last Sunday as was anticipated – One of his old parishioners at Shelburne had died very suddenly & he was compelled to stay to the funeral. There was a great collection at Church who were much disappointed. Aunt Dennison with her regiment of females from Royalton was present. I am sorry to say that my wife tells me that Aunt Dennison is growing very fat, or rather [puffup] and it is feared that she has the dropsy – she has long dreaded that complaint. Mary [Batchelder] lives with her & equals everything that was expected of so good a girl as she is. Uncle Cotton was gone to Boston. When the old farmers like him have an opportunity of going to Boston, it seems to be quite a holiday with them. The next time I see him I expect nothing but a minute detail of every event that happened to him on that momentous journey. Aunt Smith, poor old woman, is much better than she was last fall. Uncle & Aunt [Kineon] have gone to Cornish to visit their grandchildren. Aunt Molly fails very fast, & the object of the journey was more particularly to gratify her feelings – Ada Smith has been compelled to pay $100 for Corbet but thanks to the care of his wife he is now almost out of debt. Corbet, I am sorry to say, notwithstanding the protecting guardian angel [cure] of Capt. Cotton seems to be as heedless & as unconcerned as ever. I need not assure you that Mr Russell continues to win the esteem & respect of the people of Bethel, & I have strong hopes that he may go Representative the next year. Mr Grover I can say nothing about that would add to your knowledge of the man. The old gentleman of all has had lately some very severe fits – of the Epileptic kind – He cannot long survive.

My dear wife, just now, taught her little daughter to come & put her round cheek to mine & to “tell pa” to give her love to that “old & absent Uncle.” I am as happy here as a man can possibly be, & I have nothing to trouble me but a few duns which I am unable to pay. Mr Jonas Eddy, the poor little spiteful creature called upon me, luckily when my wife was gone for the purpose of refreshing my memory about the old difficulty which existed between us at Bethel – the particulars of which I once gave you.

Rather than be [dogged] to death by him I asked him what would satisfy him – I would not look over any papers, altho’ he had brought Ralstons & Babbits receipts for witnesses fees &c – I knew very well how it ought to be, but I left it entirely with him to say how much he ought to have – very much to my surprise he said he would be content with $4,00 if paid immediately – as that was out of the question I told him that I would pay him that sum, (being however 1.74 too much) the very first money that I ever earned. With that assurance he went away apparently contented. I care not how quick any of them sue, I would go to jail & take the poor man’s oath – but with the full determination of paying them every farthing whenever it should be in my power. I have not yet heard from N. York relative to the prize &c – I consider the attempt worth about as much as a ticket in a lottery. Mr Joel Eddy has returned from his journey – he did not go to Boston but directed his course to Dover, to which place he had sleighing all the way. He obtained for 300 hogs - 6 ¼ cts at that place & 5 ½ for 200. Deacon Washburn has been taking 4 more bushels of your wheat at Northfield making 10 in the whole – I do not believe a word of the story he tells of your telling him that he might have as much wheat as he chose to take. Aunt Chase has sent word, to the [threshers], for Mr Washburn to take no more until you return. I am sorry to say it but I have very little confidence in any of that tribe. Seth [W]. Esq who is only distantly related to them is the only exception I should make.

On looking over your letter I have only to remark that I am glad you have come precisely to that conclusion, which you inform me you have in regard to S. B. French. You have also it seems correspondents in Indiana. Addison is I presume one among the number. Pray assure him that such a being as Geo. Chase is still in existence & has not forgotten our early acquaintance. Is Dudley Smith still alive & in his neighbourhood? In your hurried moments of writing you no doubt think that we are in possession of news – of which we have never heard.

I have as you perceive bad paper, bad ink & bad pen – three good causes for bad writing. But were I writing to some indifferent person I should perhaps take 50 times the pains in that particular, that I should with an “old & absent” friend who I know will overlook such small matters.

At your house Feb. 9

On my arrival I found Mrs Nichols & Mrs Starkweather here from Northfield. Their husbands have gone out – Mr S. to Royalton & Mr Nichols with Horace, in the [cutter] to try the colt. They are all as happy here as possible – & such a noise that it is almost impossible to think at all. They wish me to assure you that your company is only wanted to make them very happy. Aunt Chase will in all probability go to Woodstock next Saturday evening in the stage for the purpose of attending church, Mr Clapp being expected there. In case she goes she will not be able to write to you the customary letter – but no doubt when she returns, there will be more news.

[Dedy] says she has a ‘little wee thing’ on the road for your especial perusal – which she hopes you will find time to answer

I remain as ever your affect. Nephew

Geo. Chase

Hon. D. Chase

Washington City

Letter to Dudley Chase



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