George Chase



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George's daughter Eliza badly burned the right side of her face and her hand on the stove. George is recovering from the influenze epidemic. Uncle Dudley has also become ill. Bp. Philander sent George a letter franked by Henry Clay. George has plans for working on Uncle Dudley's land and wishes to know what he wants done with it.




George Chase, Henry Clay, Samuel Smith, Capt. Smith, Aunt Chase, Eliza Chase, Dr. Burnham, Mr. & Mrs. Grover, Mr. Galliard, Mr. Eddy, Mr. Murphy, Capt. Orcutt, Vermont


Randolph Mar 5. 1826 Sunday

My Dear Uncle

It is a long while since I have written to you, but severe indisposition is an excuse which I am sure you will not reject. I have a great many things to say to you – & perhaps the best way to commence my eventful history is to go back to week before last, when if I mistake not I wrote you two short & rather unsatisfactory letters. Perhaps, however, Aunt Chase has informed you of everything concerning which I am about to write – in that case you can pass it over, as you would a newspaper paragraph.

On Thursday (week last Thursday) I was attending the Chapter – There was a great deal of business to attend to & but few R.A. Masons present. My services were therefore put in requisition. In the midst of one of the most interesting parts I was informed that Mr Sam. Smith (son of our neighbour Capt. Smith) wished to see me on urgent business – I went out & heard from him that my little daughter was badly burned & that my wife wished me to return home immediately with the Doctor. I ran immediately over to Aunt Chase’s, saddled the Deacon & rode down to Doctor Smith’s house. He was gone from home & would not probably return until some hours had elapsed. The case was urgent & I therefore thought proper to apply to Dr [Burnham] who was acting as H.P. to the Chapter. When we came here we found that my little daughter was indeed badly burnt, – the whole of the right side of her face & also her right hand. She had slipped up against the stove which had been made very hot for the purpose of melting snow. Everything was done that could with propriety be done – & I had the satisfaction of learning subsequently from Dr Smith that the course pursued by Dr [Burnham] was the same that he himself should have adopted. To prevent a scar on the face we were directed to dress the wound in a particular manner every 2 or 3 hours night & day. We determined to follow our directions literally without regard to our own feelings of weariness or sleepiness, so that let the event be what it might, we should not have reason to blame ourselves hereafter for negligence. But the deprivation of rest, wetting feet &c was too much for me & on Monday last I was attacked with the prevailing epidemic but I believe much more severely than is usual. Indeed I never felt quite so disagreeable. The attendant depression of spirits was not the least of my sufferings. Mr and Mrs Grover came here on Monday – but they only made matters worse, for they made such a crying over Eliza, that it was almost impossible afterwards to dress her wounds. She had found out for the first time that she could, in her present situation, tyrannize over us without mercy.

I have written a great deal more than is necessary on this subject I will therefore conclude in a few words by saying that, today, I am able to move about & write altho’ I have not as yet gone out ‘of doors,’ – that my daughter is better & I hope will not be much if at all scarred. I was fearful that when you missed my usual weekly letter, you in your turn would think proper to neglect me. But I hope you have continued to write on, & that sundry good letters are on the way for me. I recd. this morning your letter, (the date I forget) in which you announce my fathers speedy return to the state of Ohio, Mr Galliards death &c – I broke the seal read it twice to my wife & myself & returned it to Aunt Chase by the same conveyance that she had sent it to me. Our letters are in common, altho’ she is apt to crow a little that she has them the most frequently – & it is very right that it should be so. Last Thursday I got so that I could use the penknife with tolerable dexterity, altho’ I could not help smiling at the curious figure I made—“my [hose] for [] shrunk [shank] a world too wide” – the blue wandering veins every turn of which could be so distinctly seen on my hands under the white skin – But notwithstanding I used the penknife to some purpose & have made a great supply of [spiles] for the sugar season which I hope will shortly commence. Sumach grew very conveniently here on one of the little knolls & Almira broke it down & brought it in for my use. I dislike very much to trouble you with our affairs here – but I cannot avoid asking what you intend to have done with this place? An early knowledge of your wishes would enable me the better to gratify them so far as is possible for me to do so.

I can make plain coarse sort of pickets sufficient to go round half an acre – as I have become quite expert in the use of the plane – I can put all the fences in good repair so far as such miserable fences can be repaired. We can keep two cows west of the road – But is it advisable to break up more than I shall need for a garden say ½ acre? Horace will want help at home – who can do it with less expense than myself – I feel (excepting this drawback from the influenza) as if I should be able to do a great deal more & to greater advantage than I did last summer.

The lot East of the road might perhaps be usefully employed as a sheep pasture – until we can save manure sufficient for a spot which you intend to break up. Mr. Eddy is certainly a good man for your interests – but he is too everlastingly cunning for me to have much to do with. I had by 50 [pr ct] rather change [works] with my [my] good neighbour but very blunt man Mr Murphy, than be indebted to Mr Eddy in the least particular.

I have made the foregoing observations under the supposition that you would not be home until June, as intimated in your last letter to me. I hope you will forgive my rambling manner of writing – I do not perhaps take half the pains in inditing a letter to you, that is, to have every expression so precise & prim, as I should to an indifferent individual.

I had formed many plans in my own imagination relative to our employment the next summer—stone to get out—well to dig—thinning out the young trees &c &c. What I want is that when you come home you may say that the work is commenced aright – & there is nothing which I have done which you may wish to have undone.

Since writing the preceding Mr Eddy has been here. He is about to put some sheep young cattle &c here at this Barn. He thought best to have the South orchard ground broken up – very likely, & he might possibly expect to have the job.

Old Capt. Solomon Orcutt is dead & buried. I was so unwell that I could not attend the funeral, which I should certainly have done had it been possible for me to do so.

My father has written me a very good letter [franked] by Mr Clay which I shall take some convenient time to answer through your hands. I had thought that it was never his intention to reply to the two letters which I wrote to him since my return to Vermont, and I am glad to be undeceived.

It seems that you have also been attacked with the prevailing epidemic – I hope it will not leave you a cough as a legacy which you will carry with you all your days, this eternal hack hack hacking is enough to weary the patience & lungs of any being.

Mar. 7—1826—Tuesday—At your house

Aunt Chase desires me to tell you that we are all well here – & the only trouble she has is the fear on your account.

There you are she says at Washington sick with nobody to take care of you but a negro, whom you mortally hate.

This is the first time I have been here since a week last Sunday & I feel rejoiced once more to see my friends.

I shall write to you now frequently so as to make up for lost time – as it seems there is no fear of troubling you too much with letters from home.

Hoping that you will write whenever you can find leisure I remain as ever

Yr. affectionate Nephew

Geo. Chase

Hon. Dudley Chase

Washington City

Letter to Dudley Chase



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