Philander Chase



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Chase writes about the continued development of building additions to his small Michigan dwelling. He addresses his children back home, Mary and Philander, assuring them of his love and how he misses them. Chase also asks his wife to send him more laborers, if possible.




White Pigeon, Adeline, Henry Chase, Dudley Chase, Mary Chase, Philander Chase Jr., Mrs. Russell, Mr. Critchfield, Elisha Skinner, Col. Hugh, drought, Sarah, Mr. Loomis, Holmes County, Indians, Branch County, Gilead, Michigan, Nathaniel Riddle



Branch Co Michigan

July 14. 1832

My dear Wife

I was made very happy by the reception of your short and good letter of the 5th inst: although my enjoyment was somewhat curtailed by learning that your weakness of bodily frame still continues. What can be done for you? I fear your want of opportunity to ride a little every day is among the causes of your illness. May God restore you to your former health and thus crown his mercies to me your loving Husband!

I think I wrote my last to you from Pigeon. Immediately after writing it I returned home. On my way I staid at Adeline’s. Never was there a more devoted Friend than this one the resident in our family. She, as I told you was gone from home as I went to P. nevertheless I had ventured to leave the bags of clothes to be washed. It seems that on coming home she set herself and a girl she had hired most sedulously to work to get them both washed and ironed by the time I should return: and well nigh was she to accomplish her purpose; when Henry & myself made our appearance. This made her at my earnest request dessist [sic] and attend to social intercouse. She almost was beside herself at embracing Henry. [?] as to Dudley she knew he was with me; for she had read his name on his clothes now from a Child indicating that he become a man. She enquired much after your health and the welfare of Mrs. Russell - Henry was highly delighted with his new acquaintance with his old Friend.

On our arrival at home whom should we meet but Critchfield & Elisha! They had enjoyed uninterrupted health and had met with no material accident. Their speed was much greater than we, any of us, expected. The cow had stood the journey well and the oxen were scarcely the worse for it.

We have already begun to hew timber for the additions to our little dwelling. Already have we finished the little store house in which to bestow the few articles we brought from Ohio and also to be the receptacle of a little food for our daily use. And how large do you think the building must be to answer these important ends? It is precisely 6 feet 6 inches one way & 6 feet the other and 6 feet high: & Col: Hughes’ is this moment putting on the shingles on the roof and I am writing this letter while he is hammering over my head. What a contrast this to what we enjoyed before we began to build “Seminaries” for an ungrateful publick! By the bye; - why did you not send me some quills for pens? For your punishment in neglecting me in this particular [?] upon you the task of reading this bad writing which is literally performed by the help of my brass dividers. Henry has just borrowed my pencil to write a few words in answer to Mary’s good letter to him but, I see he can not accomplish any thing worth sending: so Mary & Philander must be content with a few words from me in Henry’s behalf - -

Dear Mary and Dear Philander!

I can not tell you how precious is the remembrance of you both to me as well as to your Brothers who have consented to share a Father’s toils. Scarcely a day I might say an hour passes but we all think of you and pray for you and Dear Mother & Mrs. R. & Sarah. Last night Dudley & Henry obtained leave to go fishing: but it was too late before they begun; so that they caught only one fish; and this they ate for their breakfast this morning. I wish they had brought with them Col: Hugh’s gun. It is cheap at the price he set for it; and I am sure if I had had it with me in passing through the woods with Dudley we might have killed a fine deer which sprang up almost within reach of us. But hunting is precario[us] [?] the boys have too much to do to waste their [time] that way. You say in your letter to Henry that [?] Garden in the Valley looks sad on acct. of the Drought I “believe you”: for, even here, where the soil bears the drought better than in Ohio, things look sad enough and if we don’t have rain soon, the corn crops will be ruined.

How I want to see you and Sarah! When will the middle of Sepr. come? May God prosper us in building a house for Dear Mother!

Remember your Dear Father in your prayers and never (as you love my blessing) - never disobey your Mother.

I am your loving Father

Philr. Chase

Don’t forget to encourage Mr. Loomis to purchase the young heifers -- (1. and 2 years old if he can) that the drove may be worth driving in September. Write to me often. Tell me whether I must make arrangements to be [with] you the beginning of Sepr. If you can send me some more labourers immediately. Col. Hughes says he thinks he can get on well with Nathl. Riddle. I wish he were here this moment for there is no such thing as [hiring] here. If some will come to me from Holmes Co. & stay only till fall or the end of Oct: I give them $10 per month and bear their expenses out.

If they agree to bear their own expenses out I will give them $2 per month, provided I may rely on their coming for certain. To accomplish this [let] them sign an article & give it to you.

We are all contented and well. No fear of Indians here more then in Ohio. - And our place seems as healthy as any in America. There are such fine opportunities of purchasing lands that [I] [?] [?] the young men of older & [dearer] places do not come!

The Boys send their love to all in the Valley.

I have entered a mill-seat!! It is within 1 ½ mile of our house!! It is the best on the River. The Boys send their love to all in the Valley.

Letter to Sophia Chase



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