Sophia Chase



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Sophia includes extracts from a number of Chase's previous letters concerning the church in New Orleans. She also updates him on events at home.




New Orleans, Robert Dow, Samuel Leonard, Mr. Hall, R.M. Wellman, Philander Chase Jr., Mrs. Remington, Mr. Glass, Dudley Chase, Bishop Ward


Gilead Aug 29th 1835

My dear Husband

As you desired I have looked over all the old papers that have any reference to N.O. Church among the few that remain I find a Copy of your letter to the Vestry on your departure and their answer – extract

New Orleans March 30 1811

“The pecuniary claims which you have on the congregation comparing the Church we are sorry to say, our Treasurers books show to be great.

We will however direct our Treasurer to make all collections from the subscriptions which he [possibly] can and he will pay over to you on the 15th of next month all monies which he may at that time have collected; even after your departure, we will not neglect you but all other sums that may be collected shall be duly sent to you, until we trust that your claim will be duly compensated &c”


Robert Dow

Sam’l Leonard


New Orleans Sep 16th 1811

“We shall have no meeting of the Vestry until the return of Mr Hall, at present, nor during the summer past, could we have formed a [quoram] most of the numbers being absent, your claim will be early laid before them & I have no doubt will be attended to”

Signed RM Welman


New Orleans May 25, 1816

“At a late meeting of the Vestry of which your [humb] Inst is one the balance due you was mentioned among the other Debts of long standing, four of the gentlemen were [warmly] opposed to the principle of discharging them in as much as the society that contracted them could scarcely be said to exist and that it would be unjust to take the funds of the present Church to discharge the debts of the former. In reply it was advanced that the church as a [corporator] body was the same now as formerly and an obligation entered into with them would be equally binding on the present and become our duty to discharge when ever we had the power. After considerable conversation it was concluded to take no order on the subject and as no demands had been made, it would be time enough to legislate on it when there should be.

Whenever that is the case I know they will be warmly opposed but I feel assured that they will be recognized and discharged as soon as it is in our power. I would advise you to send on your fee and let it come regularly before them. As a member of the Vestry it would perhaps be improper for me to appear so having advised it – be that however as it may I shall not shrink from the responsibility of having done so should it be necessary of this you will be able to judge” signed RM Welman

New Orleans May 10th 1823

My dear Sir

“Your two letters on the subject of your claim on the Prot. Epis. Ch. came duly to hand – the last a few days since I should have replied to the first one now had it not have been that I wished to have an opportunity of laying it before the Vestry and of informing you of the result. This has not been done in consequence of there not having been any meetings for the last three or four months. If however I may be permitted to give my individual opinion as a member of the Vestry there cannot be anything gained by it at the present moment. The pecuniary concerns of the church are as yet limited and ever since its formation our expenses have exceeded our receipts and we have consequently been accumulating a debt on our heads. We did flatter ourselves we should have realized something handsome from a renewed attempt to push through a class of the [?] for which we have long had a grant in this however we more than failed instead of making anything we sustained a loss of about $2000. From these circumstances you must be aware of the inability of the corporation at this time to meet your claim, yet my dear Sir I would not have you to conclude that they never will be able to do so, for notwithstanding the forgoing detail the fiscal concerns of the church are perhaps just now in a better situation than they ever have been – we flatter ourselves the day is not too distant when we shall not only be clear of debt but be enabled to place our pastor in a situation more comfortable than heretofore of one thing permit me to assure you that I will avail myself of the first chance there may be of getting your fee liquidated, and in the mean time your letters will be laid before the board at their first meeting the result of which you shall be informed of” &c

Signed RM Welman

By a mutilated memorandum taken from the mouldy papers so carelessly kept in Cincinnati I find “statement of my affairs, at my departure from Hartford” date (partly torn I think) March 1, 1817 – one item is “a just and acknowledged debt due me from the Corporation of the Rector and Wardens of Christ Church New Orleans $1588”

Monday Aug 31 1835

My dear Husband

After being up and playing in the yard several days Philander was taken with the Ague he had on friday and again yesterday but slept well all night free of fever, and is quite cheerful this morning. After the operation of his medicine I shall give him quinine and pray it may be blessed to him. Mrs Remington tho’ still confined to his bed is slowly getting better. Mr Glass’s daughters and James are better most of them able to do a little but Mrs Glass is worn down and taken to the bed from fatigue – and the poor man’s strength seems indeed laid low for Henry and Albert are both confined to the bed with intermitting fever. Two of McKinlies children are better and his wife at intervals can sit up altho’ she still has fever the brothers and sister keep up and do all for them but are not well. McKinlie himself was taken four days since, quite a scarce attack – if no better this morning I shall urge his seeing the Doctor – both this family and Mr Glass’s I think are suffering from the effects of hardship and fatigue endured on their journey – economy in travelling, lodging in the open air &c I believe is the true course of so much sickness among the new settlers.

The rest of our dear family are quite well as was Sam’l & Sarah Aug 12th. Dudley set off this morning for Prairie [Ronde] to bring home Cynthia. By the Doctor who came to see Mrs R I last wednesday acknowledged your find favors to Aug 13th and forwards Bp Wards letters I hope he did not forget to leave them at the post office. Today we trust we shall hear of your continued health – that God may have you in his Holy keeping and reconcile to you all his dispensations is the prayer of your affectionate wife

SM Chase

Letter to Philander Chase



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