Sophia Chase



Download Full Text (3.8 MB)


Sophia updates Chase on affairs in Gilead. Philander Jr. has been sick but is doing better, she continues to care for other families. The crops are doing well despite some cold weather and rain.




Philander Chase Jr., Mrs. Bennie, Mrs. Clark, Dudley Chase, Mr. Glass, Henry Chase, farming, Mrs. Russel, Mrs. Remington, Jacksonville, Shepherdstown, Sharpsburg, Harper's Ferry, S. Hedges, Josh Gale


Gilead Aug 25 1835

My dear Husband

Yours of the 6th inst was the last received – as it is a week since we sent to the Post Office I am in hopes we have some in store – most thankful am I for the kindness of your reception may God open the hearts of those to whom he has committed earthly riches and make them willing to assist in building up his kingdom in the west. In Gilead it has been a time of unusual sickness – chills and fever or fever or ague – dear little Philander for a week was a little feverish [such] the 15th he was taken very ill with what I should call the bilious fever – as all the medicine I gave had a proper effect I did not send for a Dr – before the week [elapsed] it turned to the Ague and fever – this yielded to quinine and he is now bracing with the shower bath quite well although very pale and not able to be about out doors much – may we be thankful for this mercy. The Old Scotchwoman Mrs Bennie died after a few days illness – her disorder was an inward fever – a thirst not to be quenched – any black tongue – although her flesh was generally moist and her pulse not very quick. As her children requested it she was buried near Mrs [Clark] and at their desire also Dudley read the burial service her two daughters are now both sick though not confined to the bed. Mr Glass’s family are getting up again after repeated relapses. He thinks (and perhaps with reason) that the situation of the house where he lives is more exposed to the night mists from the marsh to the northwest than other parts of the settlement – yesterday after much trouble he succeeded in getting Fagden to give up the House he has taken his family with [Sulfords] assistance to English prairie and we are happily delivered from a very abusive and infamous family.

[Henry] was down to Pigeon last week – to mill – our wheat makes the best of flour and the corn crop is beautiful in prospects, that near the house is beginning to harden – and in the field it is in good order for [baling] – 22nd and 23rd the prospect was rather sad, it was so cold that a fire was indispensable for comfort – at Mr L[?] and on the Randel farm the frost was scraped from the soils, and the tops of vines killed – no appearance of it on other farms – at Branson’s English Prairie and Pigeon it was genial, though I do not hear that the corn was injured – yesterday it was showering and this morning we had heavy thunder and a [?] full of rain – it is now noon and clearing off so that Henry can go in to the Post Office and I shall be able to visit my Patients. Mrs Remington was confined friday with a dead infant. I hope she will do well, she has no fear and is comfortable her two youngest children have been here more than a week it makes me feel sad that they have begun to call me Mom.

Laura has had the Ague but has recovered. Mrs Russel and our dear children are well and my own health never better. We were delighted with your account of Duncan. Philander wishes he was here, and if his mother could be happy in such an arrangement I could wish so too. Melons just begin to ripen – we shall have considerable many. Dudley has not yet finished the oat harvest it is all down – but the rain has prevented bringing it in – no more cattle sold but cows are frequently inquired after no late letters from [?] but one forwarded from Jacksonville addressed to you dated July 1st Shepherdstown Jefferson Co. Virginia – signed “Chaplin S Hedges” Minister of the Episcopal congregations of Sharpsburg & Harpers Ferry – extract “It has long been my desire to remove to the west and from all I can ascertain I am of the opinion that my labours would be more useful in Ill. than perhaps in any other of the western states. I have heard that Springfield in your Diocese affords a promising field of labour to a minister of our Church – and I have the pleasure of knowing a pious family of Epis that reside near that place. If that place is still vacant will you be so kind as to tell me of the prospects there. I have some private means of support, nevertheless I would require some means of support from the congregation – with congratulations on your being Bp. of Ill” &c.

I had written this extract half through when it appeared to me I had already given them it so do not think I am crazy but rather to the incessant questioning of my two little visitors who have not left my table more than a minute at a time – Mrs Russel and the children send love to dear Father – that you may be prospered in all your undertakings is the prayer of your affectionate wife

SM Chase

I cannot help laughing when I run over the strong summary I have given you. Let me add to it I have [written] up your note to Josh Gale.

Letter to Philander Chase



Rights Statement

No Copyright - United States