1835: Austin Parker Chase to John Chase

What Austin P. Chase might have looked like in 1835

This letter was written by Austin Parker Chase (1809-1845) to his parents —  Deacon John Chase (1761-1842) and his second wife, Elizabeth Parker (1777-1861). Austin married Achsah Bullard (1807-1843) in June 1836. After giving birth to three children, none of whom lived even a year, Achsah’s herself died in 1843. Austin second wife was Juliette Selden (1821-1845), whom he married in November 1843. Both Austin and his second wife Juliette died in February 1845 but were survived by one child — Austin Selden Chase (1845-1903).

At the time Austin wrote this letter in 1835, he was attending Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. He had previously graduated from the Kimball Union Academy (KUA) in 1834. After leaving Dartmouth in 1836, he studied theology with Rev. John Dudley in Weathersfeld, Vermont, but was never ordained. He served as an assistant teacher at KUA in 1840-41.

Stampless Letter


Addressed to Deacon John Chase, Weathersfield, Vermont

Dartmouth College
[Hanover, New Hampshire]
June 21, 1835

Dear Parents,

Page 1

In accordance with your wishes & my own feeling, I seat myself to say a few words to you although I have nothing new to say respecting myself or things here. Respecting my getting here from dear Sister’s, I will just say to father I stayed there until the stage hour had passed, when I learned it had passed up on the other side of the river. Accordingly, employed dear sister to convey me to Hanover. I am anxious to hear from you all & know how you are. Doubtless I think more of Weatherfield than if Lucia were not there. I have not heard of anything since I left except the death of Miss Maynard. This surprised me much as I supposed she was doing well. But I am glad to hear she died rejoicing in the hope of an eternal crown of glory.

The Miss Coffin whom I mentioned to you as being very sick when I was at home died before I returned & from what I have heard we very uncommonly hear or read of anyone’s leaving the world in such a heavenly state of mind. She was hardly content to wait her appointed time.

Page 2

The religious prospects here are somewhat cheering because there are some engaged praying Christians. Don’t forget us in your prayers.

Mr. Shedd does not return this term. Consequently I am here taking comfort alone — though not alone for I have many calls. I wish some of you would write unless those Canadians can tell me all the news. I suppose they will be here soon. Tell John I want to hear about the wedding, if he attended or if he did not. How is Nancy & everybody else? How do you like your horse, Father?

From Mr. Shedd’s health he will not be able to visit Canada this year & perhaps I may take a notion to go a trip to the West during vacation instead of the North.

Commencement last Wednesday in July. Please send by brother & sister a little book with cloth back & containing a map of Hudson River as long as your arm. If I remember right, it is called “The Tourist.”

Love to all friends. From your affectionate son, – Austin

A foldout map of the Hudson River “as long as your arm” in The Tourist


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: