Philander Chase



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Chase is writing a new pamphlet in defense of himself and his actions taken in governing the College. He claims that his pamphlet utilizes the opinion of a high-ranked legal character who lends support to Chase's supervisory power. Despite this self-defense, Chase feels as though he is ready to retire from political and public affairs.




pamphlet, resignation, Sarah Russell, Mrs. Russell, Michigan, Illinois, Bishop White, "Conspiracy on Gambier Hill"


Steubenville 9. Feb.


Dear Brother Dudley:

Our correspondence has been interrupted for a long period: If the fault be on my side I am now about to make amends for it in writing you a long letter which I know your goodness would rather read than without than with apologies.

Great changes have taken place of late in my condition: and no doubt you will in common with all my friends feel much gratification in being made acquainted with the causes which led to them and the manner of their being brought to pass. This satisfaction I trust you will receive in perusing a little book I have been writing entitled my defence against it “the [Cate] Conspiracy on Gambier Hill.” I have already inclosed six of the first forms amounting to 48. pages of the pamphlet and as soon as the other part perhaps about 12 pages more shall have been printed I will send that also.

Instead of making myself a Summary of the argument drawn from the Documents shewing the intention of the Founders as to the government of the Institution I preferred an application to a Legal Character of the first rate reputation among us; and from him obtained an opinion with leave to make it public in my book. Nothing can be more to my purpose than is this opinion. -- It unhesitatingly gives the supervisory power of our Seminary into the hands of Genl. Convention and the Bishops; & states clearly that the law of the land in Ohio having even in the Court of Common pleas a chancery jurisdiction will require the Seminary to give an acct. to the above named Authorities even in matters of money as well as discipline. I ask no greater triumph over my Enemies than this. I shall be able to send you the Conclusion of my Pamphlet containing this opinion in the beginning of the next week. After which I intend to return immediately to my home in the woods on Sarah Russells land. There I shall stay till the month of April when I think of going in search of a place of residence (for the little time I have stay on Earth) out of the state of Ohio. This probably will be on some of the open prairie land of Michigan or Illinois. --

After the treatment I have met with from the state of Ohio I can not feel it my duty to try to be within her borders useful; there will be so many [reminiscences] of [past] ingratitude as to preclude all hope of cooperation to any good [?] with those who have injured me. Besides I am old and worn out and want retirement from all scenes of Contention. While I have breath I shall always preach for the Gospel and wherever I am shall strive to build up Christ’s Kingdom in the hearts and lives of all around us as I actually do now whether in the woods or cities. But as for mingling with the world in politics or with Conventions & public bodies on Ecclesiastical matters I think I may be excused.

As priests being out of the power of a Bp: to resign I do not hold with Bp White. I was one among other Presbyters who received the Resignation of Bp. Provost of NYork: and to this day think I did right in so doing.

I trust that having read my “Defence of my self” all and considered my case in all its bearing you will with me perceive no way in which I could with propriety have acted differently. While I was bishop I was tied to remain on the Hill: and while the Party excited against me they would have kept the same Teachers in place and given me none others to carry on the operations of the Institution: The result would have been in one of these two alternatives either to surrender my conscientious principles of duty or to maintain than by continual contention, war, & personal force. To neither of these was I inclined to submit: therefore chose a third that of resigning my office & retiring in peace

And now Dear Brother I am coming to a close of my letter: but before I do so I can not refrain from assuring you of my love and affection far beyond my power to describe. If I am never to meet you again, nor to see your face more in this World, pray write to me & tell me your mind on paper. Above all assure me of your faith in Him who alone can raise us up after we die to meet each other again in Heaven. Tell me of your love to Him because He first loved us & gave himself for us; the just for the unjust that He might reconcile us unto God. My best love to your dear wife & all relatives

Your loving Brother Philr. Chase

Letter to Dudley Chase



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