Philander Chase



Download Full Text (3.7 MB)


Chase writes a confidential letter to his wife in which he describes his medical condition, which has worsened somewhat. Chase also discusses a prospective professor for the college whom he met in Philadelphia.




Cincinatti, Rev. Mr. Nash, illness, Mr. & Mrs. Allen, Bishop Moore, St. Clairsville, Morristown, Mr. Sparrow, Mr. Fuller



Phil’a: 1. Jan 1827

My dear Wife

Although it is past 10 o’clock yet I can not go to bed without wishing you the compliments of the season. A blessed happy new year to you my dear Wife!

You will ask why I put on the top of my letter confidential. I will tell you. Although I am not sick but up & about: yet my blood (as ever since I had the fever in Ohio) is in a very bad state; so that I am afflicted much as I was when in Cincinnati; and in some respects much more severely and painfully than then. I can not sit but with great distress – and the eruptions on my skin are deep and more afflicting than I ever experienced. All this would be but trifling had not there appeared indications of a deep tumor on my left hip. This first begun to make me sensible of its existence about a week ago. At first I thought only the swelling of one of the glands as when a boy was once [?] by a sudden cold; but its continuance, inflammation and pain soon convinced me that it was something more serious and yet I was in hopes that it could be dissipated by a few Epsom salts and abstemious living.

Yesterday and to day I have been more uneasy: and Rev Mr Nash (the Green Bay Missionary) now in Phil’a has been preparing a [?] drink of roots for me to take and it is actually on the fire now boiling for tomorrow’s use. The Tumor now is about half as big as a large hens egg – or rather feels like the whole of an egg cut in two, indurated and feverish & painful and yet I know it is not exactly a boil.

I bathe it with [Opodeldoc] & find some relief but this is not in long continuance.

My legs also swell as did my hands last summer; and I am not in the most comfortable [trim] on that acct I’ll assure you. Yet this [panickness] on my part I hope will not be the cause of any anxiety on your part. You know I promised not to keep any thing from your knowledge concerning my health that you might always be free from the evils of a creative fancy which under other circumstances a great degree of tenderness is apt to indulge. Don’t therefore be alarmed – In a few days I trust I shall be well again. I am now about – and tho’ this day I have been almost constantly writing yet tomorrow, I hope to walk some about the City. I eat no meat and drink no strong drink of any kind.

Mr & Mrs Allen are very kind to me & do all that can be done to make me well and happy.

A young Mr [Metyer] a candidate for Holy Orders from the Alexandria School wishes to go to Ohio. I like him much: and hope he may get letters dimissory from Bp Moore to me. If so and the Standing Committee shall have recommended him after one examination for Orders, I shall ordain him here and send him to St. Clairsvillle, Morristown.

You may think strange that I have not before getting thus far on in my letter answered your letter of the 10th [Oct]: – but do not wonder nor be angry at my oddities. I am just as thankful & love you full as well for writing me this good letter as if I had told you so in the beginning of mine. All you have done is just right only you have not told me that you & the Children kneel down and pray for me as I do for you & them, every night and morning besides the [?] prayers. Good night I must go to bed

Your loving Hus. Phi. Chase

P.S. Tell Mr. Sparrow that I have not lost sight for one moment of the great subject of appointing a Professor; & hope soon to accomplish our best wishes. Dr. Milnor of N York and Mr. Meade of Virginia have united to recommend a Mr Fuller now of the Gen’l Theolo. Seminary as to his character for piety and talents – and very satisfactory are their testimonials.

Tho’ I had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Fuller at Kingston (where he & his Father and Mother & Brother in law & Sister this all the family & they very decent people will follow him wherever he goes) yet I wanted the testimony of others, Dr. Wilson of the Gen’l. T.S. also speaks well very well of Mr Fullers acquirements. So that I have reason to believe I have the best of testimony of his qualification.

Letter to Sophia Chase



Rights Statement

No Copyright - United States