Philander Chase



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Original Manuscript for p. 569-73 of Reminiscences.


Summer 8-24-1827


Mr. A Douglass, Vernon River, Gambier Hill, Mount Vernon, Worthington, Sarah, Dudley, Mr. H, Perry Township, carpenters, masons, teamsters, typhus fever


To men of taste as well as to the Historian there is more value in [the] original letter written on the spot and at the time than in many long [disquitum] displaying the greatest literary ingenuity in a poor [soldicis] short note to his family as he is going into battle or a few words spoken and remembered by his fellow soldiers in the heat of [?] especially if they allude to the condition of the army or the achievements of bravery, are highly esteemed and often recorded & cherished as the best parts of history. On this ground & for this reason the writer ventures to bring forward his letters [poor] in themselves yet written at the time of founding Kenyon College. They speak facts as to time place and accident. These make the basis of all true History, in which the [conect] mind delights.

Mr. A. Douglass was the Writers chief man in the way of providing flow &c. for the great family of workmen on Gambier Hill, as well as for the scholars at Worthington The Bishop’s house, 40 miles distant. During a season of great drought this was a difficult task. The wheat which was at Worthington had to be transported to Vernon River to be ground.

It was [?] an anxious process of this nature that the following letter was written partly on Gambier Hill & partly at Mount Vernon 5 miles off and addressed to his wife.

Gambier Hill June 30 1827:

My dear Wife

Your good letters by Mr Douglass would reprove me for my own negligence in writing to you whom I think of more than all earthly beings did not my [conscience] bear witness how literally impossible it has been for one to write you a single line.

Do you believe it Mr T our Clerk and his family have left me!

When I came back from W it was in the month of all the hands that Mr. T. was going to leave the Bishop and then what will he do! Why -- he felt [too] bad, very bad: but nevertheless put his trust in God, and God relieved him almost [miracleously].

The accounts were getting into confusion under Mr. T’s lax and careless management: but even his assistance was necessary where so many things were to be done at one and the same time. When so many names were to be recorded, and so many things and prices of labour and employment were to be seen to what could I do! While walking round the premises in a [herd] of mental agony; who should come to me as I stopped and was leaning over the College wall but my nephew Mr. Rodney Durkee my dear Sister Sarah’s son! I recognised him from his resemblance to his parents, and recollecting my Brother Dudleys excellent character of him. The thought immediately struck me that he was the man whom God had sent to help me. And indeed so I found it and in less than hour all was arranged.

Mr. H. my headman joiner told me that his wife would come: so then with her assistance and the [beautiful] labour of two girls from Perry Township whom God had sent me just at that time we are doing pretty well in the kitchen departments.

But Mr. Douglass will tell you the rest. I can say no more only that I am your exited [sic] but ever faithful & affectionate Husband

P Chase

½. S. Mt. Vernon 31 July & [?] Augt. 8. AM.

I have come hither to see about the flour I have purchased (because Mr Douglass could not wait to have the wheat grounded) 6 barrels of flour at $2.25/100 and send it to you -- and you must send Douglass back to me immediately Augt. 10. 1827. Mount Vernon

“I am literally” &c.

(Insert here original)

“Augt. 12. I wrote you a few words &c.

[insert here leaving out original [] [sic]

Again the same to the same work

Augt. 24. The great progress slowly but surely. The basement story is now completed. The tall scaffold poles now rear their heads all around the building. The [joints] timber are now taking their places & the frames of the partition-walls below & putting together the masons are prepping the carpenters. The carpenters the teamsters & the teamsters sters [sic] the hewers. The [Whipsawyers] are not able to keep up with the demand in their line. The blacksmith [too] in number are driven very hard to keep sharp the hammers and picks repair the chains, mend wagons & make new new [sic] [in] [one] for them and shoes for 28 cattle in the [Teams].

One log house additional to that you saw will receive its roof tomorrow in the beginning of the week. I trust will be occupied as a dining room.

The stone gothic building for a professor must soon be [plaintered].

I go to Mount Vernon tomorrow for a thousand things, & shall put this in the Post Office for you.

We have no newly 60 hands all busily & [faster] fully at work: an account of each is taken taken every night.”

During all this period of incessant labour on the weak [sic] days the writer was never unmindful of his more sacred calling as a clergyman. What his feeble self could do on sundays by the grace of God he did, on Gambier Hill, at Mount Vernon in Perry Township and other places in the neighbourhood. Worthington where his family and school were, he by no means neglected. It was about the 10th or 12th of Oct. he had planned a visit thither, when he found his wife suffering under a severe attack of the typhous fever. The weight of care necessary in conducting the destinies of a large family of boys added to the anxieties in attending the sickbed of a dear relative one of the Teachers wives had brought this object of the writers’ choicest affections nearly to the grave. She had however passed the [evils] of the disease before he reached his home: and the heart cheering sound “she is better” met his ears as he jumped his horse over the fence from the Back woods into the cultivated field where stood his lovely dwelling “She is better” said the sympathetic boys clustering round their unexpected visitors.

Indeed he found it so & blessed God most sincerely: but duty called him soon away: with what feelings of deep regret may be gathered from the following letter written on his [relicum].

“Gambier 16. Oct. 1827.”

(Here insert the original [leaving] out what is marked for omission)

Original Manuscript for p. 569-73 of Reminiscences



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