Philander Chase



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Chase temporarily left Washington because of a lack of progress with his bill and provides small updates on his time in Alexandria. He is frustrated that he has not received any letters from his wife and implores her to write more.




Mr. Hayne, Mr. Webster, Mr. & Mrs. Cazenove, Mr. Nichols, Rev. Mr. Peet, seminary, Mr. Gardiner, Aunt Cranch, Philadelphia, Dudley Chase, Congress, Mr. Lipet, Mr. Jackson, Mr. McGuire, Mr. Layce


Alea. Va. Jan 28 1830


My dear Wife:

I came to this city last friday. The bill in favour of our College being so completely at rest for the present during the famous contention between Messrs. Hayne [and] Webster as to who has been the Best Friend to the Western States, that I thought I might as well absent myself from W. till the storm should should [sic] have blown over.

I found all glad to see me: and altho’ I was much afflicted with a severe cold or as it is called in W. an influenza I reached once on sunday last and on monday dined with Mr. & Mrs. Cazenove: and on tuesday went to the Seminary and yesterday came to town & dined with Mr. Nichols. and last night attended lecture and heard the Rev. Mr. Peet preach.

You see I have mingled a great many days in one common sentence: the reason perhaps is the very little important matter they contain, worth relating.

If I went to go into particulars, there are so many small things of about the same in importance that I do not know which to mention first. I think however that my visit to the Seminary was the most interesting. About 15 young en all evidently pious and zealous in their masters cause all assembled in one place and engaged in one pursuit, offering up their [uniformity] in one forum of prayer, hearing the same words of instruction, eating at the same board and of the same loaf and drinking of the same cup & serving the same Lord and looking to the same Heaven, formed no small subject of grateful affection towards God who thro’ Jesus Christ hath had pity on our fallen race, and out of [?] hath forth beauty out of corruption He did once [insigne] of this bring forth sweetness.

Our Dear Mr. [Layce] was among the interesting young men whom I met at the I. Semy., and I’ll assure you he is no disgrace to our College who under God had the honour of forming his youthful mind.

[Crossed out section].

In my poor way I addressed the students in the Building of the Semy. and after tea they all came over to see us i.e. to see Mr. Lipet Mr. Jackson, Mr. McGuire Mr. Peet & myself. They desired to hear some of the providences of God as manifested in blessings to our College. But how far short did the manner of my recital of them fall from the reality. No tongue can tell much less can my poor abilities utter as they deserve the manifold instances of God’s goodness to us.

Finding my cravats &c. grow short I sent by Mr. Gardiner my friend for my valice from Washington and addressing my note to aunt Cranch sent her a [?] for a gown of marino being a kind of goods for ladies winter dress a little better than [Cassia]. In return I re’d. the inclosed note accompanied by several letters from Phila. but none from you. You know not how I was disappointed. Dudley inclosed me some of the stars enveloped to him by your own dear hand but not a word to me. What must I say to this? Are you indeed angry with me for coming hither again this winter to get our township? To this I am to attribute your own willingness to keep up that frequent correspondence which hitherto has been to me when abroad, so great a comfort?

You repeat in your mind what you have before observed to me that you do not see the use of dancing attendance any longer on the great Folks of our nation who seem too much engaged in promoting the interests of a party to give themselves time to seek the good & honour of their country by enlightened the minds of the rising generation in our woods.

I acknowledge my best of advisers, there is too much reason for such reflections as these: and often am tempted to give way to their force on my own mind.

But when I look to God and to the opinions of our good and holy Friends throughout the world. When I take a view of that perfect example of long suffering and perseverance set us by the Son of God, when I see how he continued to do good to those who spurned at his goodness & thro’ worldly policy rejected all his overtures of mercy: and when I know that all our pious and considerate friends expect that I try to imitate this example rather than give way to feelings of wounded pride: when I learn from every [?] that the Christian world expects that I do every thing to obtain assistance from our government, before any thing else or more is done for individual benefactions; I can not but think, that in spending this winter here, even tho’ it will be too litterally [sic] said, “in dancing attendance on Congress”, I am in the way of my duty. It needs no monitor to inform me how painful a task this, painful indeed! Independently of the anguish it costs me in being separated from you and our loved [Baines]! Far more pleasant is the laborious life I led when superintending the whole concern at home, full of toil by day and of care by night, if blessed with your society than the lingering disease of dying here with disappointed hope:

Do not then add to my misery by punishing what you think a fault and I think & know to be a painful duty. Write to me often. Tell me as I do you all that passes. Remember my affection for you increases with my fast increasing years Your dear image fills the eye of remembrance: and your example of clustering virtues has an influence on all I do or think or ay. God of Fathers bless you and the Children!

Your Phr. Chase

Letter to Sophia Chase



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