Philander Chase



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Chase informs his brother of his invitation to join the Diocese of Illinois. With the support of most of his family, Chase says he will likely move to Illinois a few weeks after Easter.




Palmer Dyer, Henry Chase, Dudley Chase, Philander Chase Jr., Bronson's Prairie, Sophia Chase, Gilead, Illinois, Diocese of Illinois, Mary Chase, Rachael Denison, Rachel Denison, Samuel Chase, Sarah Chase, Lucia, Allice, Simeon


Gilead M. [I]. Mar 30, 183.5.

Dearest Brother:

You will think it odd that I begin a letter to you by saying that I transport the mail at my own expense between this place and the Chicago-Road; and my great anxiety for letters and news makes me do this very often. This morning this anxiety being unusually great I found myself awake before it was fairly light and called out to my Son Henry (who sleeps in a small bedroom with his brothers Dudley & Philander directly over mine) to arise and saddle his horse [&] [?] in all haste with the mail to “Bronson’s Prairie” 6 miles home and return as soon as possible. The dear Boy obeyed and soon after Breakfast returned with the Mail-Bag full of most important intelligence. Your beloved hand was recognized and the contents of your liberal sheet literally devoured. & What [ever] to my aching heart did it convey! - “[There] I told you so” said my loving Wife; - “I told you that your Brother’s next letter would settle all accounts in a moment; and make you truly happy.”

[Well] - and what else did the mail contain? - Instead of answering this question in my own words I will copy the following-

“Peoria (Illinois) Mar: 10, 183.5.

“Rt. Rev. & Dear Sir:

With very great pleasure I transmit to you the following extract from the Journal of the Primary Convention of the Prot. Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Illinois held in this town yesterday. May the Great Head of the Church incline your heart to accept our appointment, and to comply as soon as possible with our invitation. We are not able to offer to our Bishop any Salary”


“I remain Rt. Rev. & Dr. Sir

with sincere respect & cordial regard

yours in Christ,

Palmer Dyer”

“The R. Rev Philr. Chase [D. D.]”


“After a long and full discussion of the subject of the following resolution by the Rev. Messrs. Dyer & Richmond & Judge Worthington in which the views of the Convention appeared perfectly to harmonise it was

Resolved unanimously that this Convention do hereby appoint the Rt. Rev. Philander Chase [D. D.] [?] Bishop of the Prot. Epis Church in the United States of America to the Episcopate of Illinois; and that he be & here by is invited to remove into this Diocese & to assume the Episcopal jurisdiction in the same.

On motion it was further-

Resolved that a certified copy of the preceding resolution be communicated to Bishop Chase by the Secretary of the Convention

The [thus] preceding is a true copy from the journal of the Primary Convention of the P. E. Ch. in the Diocese of Illinois held in Peoria on Monday Mar: [9] 1835.

“Palmer Dyer [?] Conn.”

About six weeks ago (since my commencement of the “Gilead School House”) the clergy of Illinois had written me a letter telling me of their intentions: to which I replied but gave no pledge pro or con: - Except this I had no knowedge [sic] nor agency in the matter above stated. So that I regard the subject as purely providential and consequently deserving my most devout consideration, To God alone I look for direction in so important a case & fervently pray for wisdom to choose the right way & grace to pursue it.

To all human view I am aware that my acceptance of this appointment will as in the case of Ohio reduce me to a state of pecuniary dependance. In Ill: as in O. I shall have “no Salary” - Whence then, you’ll say can arise the subsistence of my family--” “Jehovah Jireh” “God will provide”

The news has already been communicated to my Family (for it’s now in the afternoon) and all are discussing the question of my going to Illinois. If I were to take them as you need to do side judge[s] and begin with the Youngest, the result would be nearly as follows.

Philander is sorry because he is much attached to Dear Gilead where his enjoyments have been so many & so pure. Henry is willing to give up his hopes of a farm if he can have those of an education.

Mary sighs at the thoughts of of quitting the care of her young and bleating ones and insists on our taking her favorite charge to Illinois with us 300 miles. As to her losing anything else by the change she dreams not of that. She is under Providence sure of the protection, care, and instruction of a loving Mother, and of the reading of every book that Father will suffer to come in her way. Indeed she is much in this respect like her dear Aunt Rachael. & you know how that was.

Dudley says but little, [is] very thankful for your kind mention of him, in your letter, looks rather depressed at tho’ts of the future from the consideration of the past. Asks if he can again commence his education and being answd. in the affirmative wonders when we lose the [use] of our farm on which he has hitherto toiled whence will come in my ability, to support my family.

Sarah is Married and will follow the fortunes of her husband who intends accompanying me.

Saml. says it is my duty to go, & prays for me. He will assist me in educating my boys and preaching the gospel. Indeed he is a very good Preacher.

Dear Lucia will go with us “to where the land narrows,” always the same loving mother to my Children. She also thinks it my duty to go, and so thinks that best [adviser] my dear dear Wife. And you’ll say what do I think? Dearest Brother it is all but clear to my mind that God wills that I should go; yea go to Illinois & leave all behind & follow duty only.

From this theme of self I would now return to say something more of the contents of your good your best of letters. How glad you have made me by saying so much about our dear Relatives. I had not heard of many things which you mention. Not a syllable of Sister Rachael’s broken ancle [sic] and hardly a hint of sister Allice’s illness. The broken limbs of dear Brother Simeon had been known to me and I had been made glad in the assurance of his recovery. I hope it is no new [?] of this nation to which you allude. Do give my most affectionate and fraternal regards to them. They are constantly the subject of my prayers, & those of us all in our family devotions. For your loved Wife’s kind remembrance of her very unworthy Brother I am tearfully thankful. Yes, Dear Brother, my eyes are full of this evidence of my affection for her as I write these words.

Your words as follow - “i hope yet to see you and all your dear family together ere long,” - affect me and all who think of their import most deeply. Their meaning is you will soon be in Gilead!!! Delay not I pray you to tell me when you will set out that I may make my arrangements in relation to Illinois accordingly.

About the 2 or 3 Monday after Easter I expect to set off for my future Diocese there to provide for the comfortable dwelling of my family who will stay at Gilead the mean while and until I return to bring them on. If you will tell me when you will come most assuredly it will be my first endeavor to meet one whom above all others beyond my own threshold I love the best.

Direct to me here; & if gone your letters will follow me.

All join in best love to you & all dear Friends

Your ever loving & faithful Br. Phi: Chase

Letter to Dudley Chase



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