Philander Chase



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Chase recounts his travels through Illinois with Samuel and Sarah Chase, visiting various people and performing various religious services. He also reports that he has been urged to attend the upcoming General Convention of the church in Philadelphia. Because of this, he is soon heading back to Gilead.




Illinois, Chicago, Joliet, Peoria, Lewistown, Rushville, Beardstown, Samuel Chase, Sarah Chase, Jacksonville, General Convention, Sophia Chase, Philadelphia, Mr. Potter, Gilead, Detroit, Albany, Randolph, Bethel


Springfield, Sangomon

County, State of Illinois.

June 27, 1835.

My dearest Brother,

You will be glad to hear of my very good healthy during my travels in this Prairie State, where I am delighted with the country and with the kind reception I have everywhere red. from the settling inhabitants.

I entered on my Spiritual duties at Chicago on the 10 day of May and journeying thence thro’ Juliet (where a New Parish of Episcopalians was instituted) Peoria, Louiston, Rushville, and Beards Town I came to this place one month ago from this present day.

The Rev. Saml. Chase & his Wife our dear Sarah traveling with me I was much comforted with their Society: and by the former my religious labour was much lightened. Leaving Sarah here in the house & family of a dear Friend our good cousin accompanied me on a visitation to Jacksonville lying a little to the south of west about 40 miles. Returning hither we found the proposals for a [classical] School fully met and complied with so that he entered on the duties of that employment immediately. This however, he would not have done had it not been for for [sic] the prospects of having a parish of Episopalians to whose spiritual benefit he might while teaching the School minister. This was formed under very favourable circumstances, & organized on the 19th in [?]: about 40 names being subscribed & added to the Parochial association from whom the Wardens and Vestry were elected; and [rising] of $[6]00. subscribed for the erection of a Church.

On Sunday next, tomorrow I hope to admit into the Spiritual pale of the Church several by Baptism: to confirm them and others & to administer the Sact. of the Lord’s Supper to about 12 duly prepared persons. Thus far, I “bless God and take courage” - (now turn over)

In the beginning of this week I had prepared and sent on a long communication on the state & [neesities] of the Church in this Diocese to the General Convention subjoining as the reason why I did not appear & present these thing [sic] in person my pecuniary inability in the want of ready funds to defray my expenses in so long & expensive a Journey. Soon after this was despatched I received a parcel of letters from my Dear Wife in Gilead, M. I. the contents of which informed me that nothing would subserve the interests of the Church in this new Diocese so much as my personal presence at the approaching Convention at Philadelphia in Augt. next. The terms of this opinion were expressed in such forcible language and my compliance with the proposal so strongly urged & the facts on which the opinion was made up so clearly proven that I thought it my duty to yield my assent, especially as my wife herself suggested her willingness that the means of her subsistence at home should be pledged for the payment of the debt necessarily to be incurred by borrowing the money for my journey-expenses.

All this being arranged, I shall cut short my further travels in Illinois and turn my face on Monday or Tuesday next towards Gilead: I [then] staying only a few days shall proceed on [this] Detroit Lake Erie & the Canals to Albany. When there if I have time I must & will go and see my beloved Brother!!. Will you not write me a letter [then] [carry] the Rev. Mr. Potter the Espisl. Clergyman? If it be but a few lines, it will give me much comfort, & may suggest something that I ought to know concerning the facilities of traveling in the directest route to Randolph or concerning any thing else, whether you will be at home & when [?].

Under the pleasing prospects which this plan holds up to my immagination [sic] I can not but rejoice though [confessedly] with much trembling when I consider my age and weakness. To God only I look for strength; for protection from danger and for a final Blessing.

That I shall have your prayers I am fully assured; and this comforts me not a little. Do tell the Dear Relatives at Bethel to all “at home” with their good Minister, but I am called off.

Ever your loving Brother

Philander Chase

Letter to Dudley Chase



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