B. Wells



Download Full Text (3.7 MB)


Wells has recently spent a few days with Chase, and describes the Chase family's current living conditions, which Wells finds to be very impressive. He also reports that Chase is suffering from a fall off his horse.




Gilead, Philander Chase, Michigan, farming, injuries


Gilead 13th Octr 1834

Dear Madam

I cannot suppose that any apology is necessary for the liberty I take of addressing you. In [passing] on t[hro] Michigan to where a part of my family reside, I have called at this place & spent a few days with the Bishop, your Brother. I can readily suppose that you, madam, and indeed all the friends of the family feel a [tender] [solicited] concerning their welfare. Situated in what was when they came to it, almost a wilderness, it would naturally be supposed that they must for a long time suffer the [?] incident to such a recently found settlement. [What] [seem] the common necessaries of life would be difficult to be procured. To persons unacquainted with the progress of settlement in the s[?]s of the west, such reflections are natural. & I have no doubt [but] that you have [entertained] many painful anticipations, when you heard of the retirement of of [sic] your brother to a wilderness, that his family must for a long time endure much suffering, before they could raise within themselves, even what was needful for their subsistance [sic]. A desire to relieve your mind [in] this respect, has produced this letter. I have [engaged] [in] a satisfaction during the short time I have been on this delightful spot which I cannot fully express. I have travelled much [thro] Michigan, and I [consider] the selection made by the Bishop, for his purposes, one of the best that could have been made; his farm is situated in the midst of a rich & beautifully picturesque body of land that admits of a compact settlement for many miles around him. His progress in improvement had been far beyond what could have been expected from the scant means that were left him in the sudden [wreck] of his affairs. He has a large farm already in cultivation, from which he raises abundance of the necessaries & comforts of life, for his family & sufficient to support a considerable stock of cattle. He has now near 100 head; among which are as many [milck] cows as enables them to make their own butter, and a considerable quantity of cheese for sale. He has a saw mill in operation which offers him the means of getting the lumber necessary in erecting comfortable buildings, & other improvements on his farm, and he looks forward, with humble confidence, trusting in the mercy & guidance of a good God who has thus far sustained him in all his difficulties, to the time when he will be enabled to erect a decent Church and suitable buildings for a School for the education of the youth, both male & female, of this rapidly populating Country. Accept Madam of this hasty Scrawl, in the spirit of of Kindness in which it is made; at the moment of my departure on my journey [with] my [Kindest] respects for yourself & Doctor Denison.

with much esteem

B. [?]. Wells

P.S. I fo[?] saying anything respecting the the health of the family under the impression that the Bishop would accompany this with a letter from himself. I now learn that he will defer writing for some days. The family are [in] the enjoyment of excellent health except the Bishop, who sustained an injury from a fall from his horse. He has suffered considerable pain from it, but is now getting over it so as to be able to walk with me [over] his farm.

Letter to Rachel Denison



Rights Statement

No Copyright - United States