Philander Chase



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Chase contemplates details of what may happen at the College following the General Convention and meeting of bishops.




Judge Goodenow, Judge Harper, Mr. Nye, Mr. Aydelott, General King, Mr. Silliman, Booz M. Atherton, General Convention, Bishop Ravenscroft, Bishop White, Bishop Croes, Bishop Hobart, Bishop Kemp, Bishop Griswold, pamphlet, "Defence against the Conspiracy On Gambier Hill"


Valley of Peace 14 Mar.


Very Dear madam

I was gratified that you had rd. my letter written in much affliction and distress of mind, soon after our banishment and that you shewed it to some of our mutual Friends whose kind sympathies you record. Before the reception of the good letter from under your hand announcing these cheering tidings I had (as you ere this I trust have seen) already accomplished your wishes in respect to my “Defence against the Conspiracy on Gambier Hill”

I have not had time to hear from the members of our Church East of the mountains: but many persons from this quarter have communicated to me their entire approbation of my proceedings, and their unqualified disgust at the machinations of my Enemies.

The opinion of Judge Goodenow has, contrary to the assertions of the Conspirators on the Hill met with the concurrence of other Eminent Law characters among us. Judge Harper of Zanesville is understood to say that although it would be improper for him to express an opinion directly on the case (being the Judge before whom all questions touching the case must be tried if tried they be) yet he would unhesitatingly testify to the superior correctness of Judge Goodenow’s opinions in all matters of Law especially such as night be denominated chancery cases. He has read the “Letters” and says that, what Mr. Nye told the Convention, at the time that Mr. Aydelott and Genl. King attempted to brow beat him, - viz “that Bp: C: would yet triumph over all his enemies as he had hitherto done” had now apparently been more than verified. Mr. Silliman of the same pleace [sic] (Zanesville) also expressed to a Friend his decided opinion in favour of the correctness and justness of my cause; & had no doubt that it would finally prevail.

Booz M. Atherton Esquire (whom as a respectable Lawyer belonging to our Church) I have ventured to employ as the Attorney of the “Visitors” of the Seminary, went from this yesterday with the inclosed advertizement forbidding the alienation of the domains of the Institution under the present disorganized state thereof.

The powers that be on the Hill will doubtless make a short, but ineffectual struggles to maintain their ground: but in the end will by the indignant voice of the Church at large, be driven from it. Let the General Convention & the Bishops but do their duty as well as I have performed mine for the preserving of this great Institution in the communion of our primitive Church and all will be well: but if they refuse to do this duty at this eventful crisis All will be lost.

Who then will be to blame? ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

For my own part, I am willing in view of this question to appeal to the Great Day. It will then appear, who are, and who are not to blame.

Bishop Ravenscroft once, at my instance, prepared a resolution in the House of Bishops, which was expressive of the supervisory power of the Genl. Convention and the [vesitatorial] duty of the Bishops in relation to our Ohio Seminary. This resolution he read in the hearing of all them present. viz. Bishops - White, Croes, Hobart, Kemp, Chase, (& I believe but will not be sure as I am of others) Griswold, (Bps of Bower & Brownell) had obtained leave of absense [sic]).

And in what manner was it entertained? -- Bishops Hobart and Kemp went together to the [?] of the room. Bp: Croes said nothing sitting at the Table: & Bishop White left Chair and walked as if in vacancy of thought about the room. ~ ~ This state of things existed for some minutes; when Bp. Kemp returned from his close conversation with Bishop Hobart and spoke these words in my ear. (never to forgotten) “I never have had any thing to do with your Seminary; and never intend to have any thing to do with it.”

What my feelings were in relation to the support I expected in the discharge of my great duties in the West I leave you and all to judge. Had the Bishops there done their duty; and laid before the other House the result of their deliberations by way of exciting them to do theirs the Ohio Seminary would have immediately enjoyed its legitimate parental, & efficient supervisory protection; so that the rights of all its Branches respectively would have been duly maintained: and thus a shield would have been presented to the darts of our Western “Korahs” effectually preservative of my unsheltered head.

But alas! It was far otherwise. The rebuff which I met with being known on my return (for who could experience such a disappointment to his bosom expectations and be silent?) and thereby my secret Enemies seeing my defenceless and unprotected condition, the seeds of rebellion were sown and the wild boars of the woods were let in upon our garden - our primitive Vineyard so well hedged in by every legal and precautionary measure #

I have not adverted in any of my public addresses to this the fountain Head of all my present troubles; because of my earnest wish to preserve the honour & peace of our Church especially as it respects the Heads thereof: Nor will I in the exercise of a justifiable self respect stoop to ask, when I ought of right to demand redress of these great evils. I have therefore no way of making a Cast effort but communicate the above facts & my sentiments there or privately thro’ some mutual Friend to him, whom I shall never cease to love and [?] Bishop Wh[ite] our Primus; and, at his discretion, thro’ him to my fellow Bishops. With view I have prepared this letter which I beg you to consider confidential and as such shew it to Bp: W.

It is obvious that I expect a reply: If this be favourable in a prompt and decided promise by the Bishops to patronize the Institution according to their legal right so do (as expressed in Judge Goodenow’s opinion) well. I am at their disposal: If otherwise, I have but to retire from the state of Ohio into the farthest western or northern woods: and in this life be no more heard of but thro’ a faithful History of all my struggles (however in the end in effectual for the benefit of our Holy apostolic Church; which I shall endeavour forthwith to write & publish to the world.

I am with sentiments of great respect. Madam

Your ever faithful Friend & Servant

Philander Chase

Mrs. Juliana Miller: Phila…

# see also the documents prepared in England printed in the pamphlet.

Copy of a letter sent to Mrs. Juliana Miller

Of great importance in [mod] History


Letter to Juliana Miller



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