Philander Chase



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Chase discusses progress with the College buildings, particularly Old Kenyon. He asks where Mr. West is, as he has only received a few letters from him since he went to England.




College buildings, Mr. Bulfinch, Indians, Mr. Pratt, Mr. West, Gambier


Philadelphia 11. January

Dear Lord Gambier,

I am in this city on business of great necessity and importance to our College in Ohio. The [picture] & purpose fo which your Lordship may [presume[ by examining the papers which I have the honor of now inclosing.

The building of the College (110 feet) as now up, covered and finishing. The walls are [?] [and] exceedingly well put together. They are 4 feet thick at bottom, receding 6 inches at every story as you ascend; 4 stories. The weight of the stone forming the [Cornill] course is from 10 to 20 hundred. The Roof on account of the elevated site of the College and its consequent exposure to the violent winds of our country, is m[?] timber in it & put together with more appropriate firmness than any thing of the kind in America. The Steeple is in good proportions high and beautiful. The draft of it was made for me by our national architect Mr. Bulfinch of the City of Washington. The height of the vane from the ground I do not now exactly remember, but it is rising of 100 feet I think 110: and has the most happy effect when seen at a distance towering over lofty woods. The associations which it creates both in relation to the past and in anticipation of the future are such as call forth in every Christian breast feelings of the deepest interest and the most fervent gratitude. As you approach it the thoughts of the past and the future force themselves on your mind. How lately roamed here the savage and the wild beast! How lately here nought but the cloud of heathenish ignorance and barbarity hung over the human intellect. The art of contending with the red beasts, and of destroying their own species in [?] was all that Gods intelligent creatures knew or wished for. But now blessed be his Holy Name a new scene has [?]. The Gospel ‘Him’ has risen in us & now before us [rises] a monument of its triumphant efficacy. Henceforth peace instead of bloodshed: science instead of ignorance: and the hope of eternal glory in the place of the gloom of never ending despair. Thousands and ten thousands of thousands will reap the blessings the seeds of which will be sown by the instrument of Divine mercy.

These my Lord are the thoughts which crowd on the mind of every Christian person who duly considers the subject of Kenyon College of Gambier Ohio! And how natural is it to these considerations to join the delightful thought that this most promising Institution received its beginning and for a time its only sustaining aid from that Country which gave birth to these beneficent societies whose effects will be to brin gin the Millennial day! And that the same blessed country afforded that aid under circumstances the most heart affecting of any thing to be named of the kind in history. This brings the subject otherwise of a general nature to the bosom of every English Benefactor and to myself [?] [?] for a flame of gratitude which never can quench. Think my Lord of the time when, not withstanding the unfavourable impressions which your Lordship had received from another quarter, I was in [view] to [Iver] and so kindly treated there. Think of the most condescending hearing which your Lordship gave to my cause and, notwithstanding the incubating gloom when thinking over my prospect, the encouraging letters your Lordship [?] to Mr Pratt and others of London.

[My] Lord, this digression from my usual restraint [?] [asking] on this subject. The gratitude of my feelings [?] apology.

The number of pupils attached to our Institution are now rising to 75. Our Professors and tutors are assiduous [?] these few. When we move into our College we shall have room for many more.

What has become of the Rev. Mr. West? He went to England as my agent: but I am not so blessed as to receive but a few letters from him and those of a general character.

If your Lordship should see the Rev Mr Pratt who was so kind to me and by his able exertions was so beneficial to my cause when in London I beg to be named most affectionately to him.

My dear Wife is at Gambier Ohio, and in my absence orders the affairs of a family of rising of one hundred in number. She has relinquished the enjoyments of what are termed temporal good things & is constant with those which relate to another and a better world.

I beg to be most respectfully remembered to Lady Gambier and am

Your Lordship’s most faithful and most grateful Friend & Servt

Philander Chase

Letter to Lord Gambier



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