Philander Chase



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Chase describes his journey on a skiff down towards New Orleans as well as his interactions and engagements along the way.




Chillicothe, Paint Creek, Mr. Bauman, New Orleans, Portsmouth, Mrs. Bond, Mr. Woodbridge, Miss Strong, Mr. Freeman


26. Nov. 1829

Portsmouth thursday

My dear Wife;

The road from Chillicothe to this place being excessively bad: and Paint Creek immediately below the down being next thing to impossible to find it my last resort was to have recourse to a water passage. An “Orleans boat” as they call them, otherwise an “Ark” was, as I understood to set off in a few days, but this was uncertain; and the idea of being confined on board of such a craft with the company commonly to be met with there, was dreadful to me. I therefore amidst the tender opposition and suppressed smiles of my friends sent Mr. Bauman about town to purchase me a Skiff, and most happily he found one about mid afternoon on monday and engaged the owner to come & see me in the evening. He did so and it was agreed that I should pay him $5.50 for his skiff (about 15 feet long & 4 feet wide) and should allow himself a good waterman seven & a half Dollars more for his services in rowing to Portsmouth.

Early Tuesday morning I arose and found Mrs James and family up and filling my basket with choice provisions. Mr. Freeman also soon arose with his [?] morning face. Mr James also and Ann son appeared, and we marched off to Mr. Bauman’s. There I took a frugal meal and soon was ready; but the boatman did not come till Mr Woodbrige joined us and Miss Strong: (Mrs Bond’s young sister) showed her a great anxiety to see the Bishop set sail in a skiff on the swelling flood for Portsmouth. Do imagine to yourself how this company looked attending the Bishop to the Skiff approaching the awful shores of the [?] at its [deepest] flood on one of the coldest mornings known. Do see them with eager gaze fix their eyes on the Bishop as he leaped into the frail [barge] pressed off by the waterman into the rapid current full of floodwood which with many a whirl in passing round the pier of the bridge the skiff soon carried him out [off] sight.

We rode on the dam without capsizing, we saw the vast flocks of wild geese and ducks as they rose surprised to behold us in so cold a morning & so passed on with only once stopping to warm at a small cottage on the bank till about soon an hour high we arrived at Piketon. Here we tho’t fit to put up for the night; & the next morning we again pushed off for this place, and at one P.M. in safety altho’ nearly perished with cold.

At night I preached to a large audience and afterward went to Mr Ludowick’s where [?] in peace & am able to write this letter to my best,


Letter to Sophia Chase



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