Chase, Sophia May. Letter, 1840 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
This collection contains a letter from Sophia May Chase (nee Ingraham) to her husband, Reverend Philander Chase, written in 1840.
Philander Chase (1775-1852) was an Episcopal bishop, beginning his career in western New York state as a preacher. He moved to New Orleans in the early 19th century, where he organized the first Episcopal parish in Louisiana in 1805. Chase then moved to Ohio, where bringing the Episcopal Church to the Middle West became his life work. While organizing the new diocese, Chase administered local educational institutions such as the Academy in Worthington (Ohio) and Cincinnati College, where he served as President. Chase later founded Kenyon College and Gambier Theological Seminary in 1824. After Chase left Ohio, he was elected in 1835 as the first bishop of Illinois. Chase spent the remainder of his life laying the foundation for Episcopal churches in the state until his death in 1852.
In Sophia Chase's letter, she mentions news of activities in Jubilee, Illinois, and their neighbors, specifically those who had not been attending church. In the latter half of her letter, she discusses the educational progress of their three sons and their health. Sophia's letter offers a glimpse into life in rural Illinois and the experiences of a clergyman's wife.
The Library purchased the collection in the spring of 2016. It was acquired with printed ephemera purchased for the Van Norman, Clarendon, Jr., Collection of Lincoln and Illinois Ephemera (MS 852).