Philander Chase



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Incomplete copy of Chase's July 23, 1830 letter to Mr. Bates.




Mr. Marriott, female education, Cumberland, buildings, Indian corn



Kenyon College, [Oh]

August 1830

Very dear Mr. Bates,

I have thought & talked so much about you and your name has been connected with so many things intimately mingled wit objects nearest my heart, that I cannot but fancy I have your indulgence for addressing you as if we were long acquainted & most intimate Friends. Your munificence in the present gift, duly received by me, of 100 € sterling, & promise, (as by Mr. Marriott’s letter) of future sums to the like amount each for ten years & above all the hope which you had (thro’ the same channel) authorised us to indulge of your embarking in the month of April to come & see us and be a witness of our wants, & in person judge of the necessity & propriety of relieving them, raised my poor heart far, far, above its ordinary standard of earthly enjoyments. I called to mind & dwelt on your benevolent plans for improving the means & measures of Kenyon College, by night & by day. To God I looked as to the the only adequate source of such goodness, & daily addressed to him my grateful acknowledgements that it had pleased him to bestow upon one so able the Holy & Heavenly disposition to do much good.

It was these hopes & consolations that kept me alive under the heart sinking disappointment I met with in the application to the government of my own Country for a grant of lands to assist us.

In the glass held up by your liberal hand I thought I saw College, notwithstanding all the efforts of the enemy of soul to prevent it, completed for the reception of 800 students training up for usefulness on earth and for glory above many of them the chosen of the Lord to bear His name on the banners of the Cross to the ends of the earth for the salvation of the souls of millions.

I thought I saw another Institution, by your permission mentioned also in Mr. Marriotts letter, rising for the pious & useful education of the Females of our vast and rising country. Possessing as we do the sole command of our vast domain, by never admitting on the College section any [title] but to be tenants at will an Institution to educate young women might be preserved from those objections, which otherwise might be raised against it. All might be made to concur in the enforcement of salutary laws. Under the influence of these I thought I saw it surrounded by its sacred enclosures, and adorned within by its beautiful gardens, holding up its week [sic] head the faithful instructress of those who are to instruct others even their tender offspring and more effectually than all other instructors lead them in the way to eternal life.

I thought I saw all this while our extensive grounds all around us of hill & dale so well watered & so beautiful in their natural aspect, were from a wilderness converted into fruitful fields, o’er spread with sheep & cattle, & flowing like Canaan with milk and honey.

In these dreams of hope my expectation of your arrival grew more & more intense, from month to month, from week to week, & from day to day, from April till July.

During this period the most awful in my life, I was grievously affected by Gods most heavy dispensation, the oversetting of the mail coach in which my joints were dislocated my ribs broken & my flesh torn from my bones, my vitals were however preserved unhurt & with them a heart full of faith in God’s goodness & infallible promises. The dear images which has been created by your unspeakable kindness embellished & preserved by good Mr. Marriotts most excellent pen were the principal means of preserving the elasticity of my mind, and by the gracious blessing of our Heavenly Father of keeping me from death. How many were the times in which I read Mr. M’s Letter after the first few weeks of pain & helplessness had passed, and I permitted to hold the blessed Epistle in my hand! Thus sustained, I began to look anxiously towards home for I was at Cumberland in Maryland several hundred miles off. A Coach was presented me by an American Friend, & horses purchased by the money which you sent me, in it suspended on a bed I came slowly on in company with our College Surgeon whom I had recently appointed to that office. In every step pains accompanied me which however never ceased to be assuaged by the cheering hope of seeing you when my journey was ended: but in this I was disappointed, but elastic hope soon made good her ground. I found the school in my absence had succeeded to admiration. The professors & tutors had done their duty well. The no. of pupils were nearly 100. The center building of the College which is the only part of the intended edifices as yet created, had answered by means of its spacious basement story, devoted to Culinary purposes a much better effect than was anticipated. All the upper stories were filled with students; & it was necessary that other accommodations should be made for 35 more in the finishing of two other dwellings, which has since been done. As the General Government had granted us a daily mail, it became necessary that a stage coach house, with convenient apartments for the accommodation of strangers, together with a large stable, coach house, & Granary should be built: this was also effected as the college had increased a few weeks after my arrival at home from 100 to 135. Necessity compelled us to fulfil [sic] a part of our original plan in the erection of a stone building immediately in the rear of the College for the purpose of a bake house smoke house kitchen and room for servants, this was effected by our stone masons & carpenters as also was our enlargement of our shop and store house. The Millers house was built last fall, but great repairs were needed on the plan, corn mill, & saw mill, so necessary to the progress & comfort of our establishment. The farm must also be attended to, my head farmer & steward had on account of ill health left me alone to manage the vast concerns with few trusty persons to assist me. In the winter I had ordered the felling of the trees & the clearing of one hundred acres of our first rate bottom land for Indian Corn. This had been expensive, & was [end of letter].

Letter to Mr. Bates



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