Philander Chase



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Chase details the progress of the buildings in Gambier. The parish has been built and is set to be incorporated soon. Chase hopes to see his wife soon.




Mt. Vernon, Mr. Terry, Perry Township, Mr. Hart, Mr. Glass, Mr. Douglass, Mr. Lane, Shafer farm, Harcourt Parish, Kenyon Circle, Henry Chase, Mary Chase, Philander Chase Jr., Mrs. Russel



Kenyon College

12 Aug’t. 1827

My dear Wife,

I wrote you a few words when I was in Mt. Vernon last friday and inclosed a Draft of $100 – As soon as Chapman & [Lessons] acct is rendered and we can settle with him that shall be paid.

I think I told you of Mr Terry’s leaving me and of the distress I was in, both on acct. of having the business with very little knowledge of what had been the proceedings all thrown upon my hands: and on acct. of the matter of house-keeping. Above 40 hands were to be provided and cooked for & served with their meat and drink in due season: and in as much as Mr. T. had of his own a few beds not only their place was to be supplied but owing to an increase of some 12 or 15 hands others were to be provided out of whole cloth. What could be done! – God helped me; as I told you and that always answers for everything else. Two young women came to me from Perry Township just in good time. The Father & Brother of one of them were already with me, and at the same time Rodney came to take charge of my accts. Mr. Hart, my foreman-joiner brought up his wife to oversee & direct who being a might talkative woman did quite well.

I went with the Waggon, I don’t know how many times, to Mt. V. for a new set and an additional quantity of kitchen and table furniture: and our wants, however numerous, were, after a sort, supplied.

While these things were going on the demands of the Masons were attended to. The stone began to fail in quantity on the spot, and no teams could be had but at an enormous expense, (knowing I was in great want) to draw them. What could be done and whither could I turn? – God opened a door: and thro it sent me 12 pair of fine oxen at a very reasonable price (so much so that if they work till winter they will at the prices at which I was obliged to hire, more than pay for their purchase money. The chains and carriages are now nearly provided for them: so that we hope soon to have our business before us. You have little idea of the quantity of stone it takes; but thick as the walls are they are raised the one half of them. To the top of the basement story, and the other half is about 2/3s up to that height.

But you will ask how we can accommodate so many hands with room in our present scanty allowance of buildings. – [?] – We had to make 3 or 4 sittings down at table at our meals; and the men found their lodgings in the cock loft of the shop this delling and on the floor of the dining room. For a dining room we are putting up a little log-hewn home between that in which we now life and the street. It will rather join it so that stovepipe of new may pass into the chimney of the old building. The dining room inside will be about 16 by 23. Part of the roof will project over so as to produce a shelter as you pass from the kitchen into the dining room.

If you ask how the little stone building comes on: I answer but slowly. So few joiners have presented themselves and so much work in making window frames and other things to keep the Masons going on well with the great building that but little is done to this. The roof is on and the joiners at work in it. The lower floor is laid and half the chamber floor. – and a part of the staircase & stairs up into the chamber are done.

Our saw pit frame is reared and hands engaged in getting out [?].

I am more and more pleased with the plan of the College. It will afford more conveniences than any building I ever saw. If carried it complete affect the plan will be more admired for its perfection in the accommodation of both Professors and students than any other which I have noticed in the U.S.

We feel the loss of the Wilson horse very much: but hope God will enable us to get on with work not with y. Mr. Glass and Mr. Douglass are well and going on well in their business. Mr. [Torade] built him a new house in the bushes last spring: and the trees being trimmed up look prettily enough about it.

Mr. Lane was to raise his house (on a part of the Shafer farm back in the bushes by a beautiful spring) yesterday: but it rained.

Mr. Watt is building or rather has built and moved into a cabin on the bottom south of the College in the woods. He is our Chief timber haver.

We have instituted a parish on our College grounds by the name of Harcourt Parish. After the papers are put in record the corporation will be legal. Good news from Gardiner on the [Rinebeck] River [Mt]. The Kenyon Circle of that place have sent one I deposited in the N River bank in N.Y. for our College in this place $152; 53/100 – How good is God in blessing our weak endeavours to his glory!

Henry is well – better I think than ever I saw him before in his appearance. He was most thankful to you & Mary & Philander for the apples and to Dear Mrs Russel for the [cake] I hear him read as often as I can: once almost every day and sometimes oftener.

I long to see you more than ever. How it is with you?


P. Chase

Letter to Sophia Chase



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