Philander Chase was born in Cornish, N.H.,  December 14, 1775;  died at Jubilee College,  Ill.,  September 20, 1852.  Graduated at Dartmouth in 1795.  Ordained Priest in the Episcopal Church,  November 10, 1799.  Was occupied in missionary labor in Western New York and later at New Orleans,  being the first Protestant minister in the State of Louisiana.

In 1811 became rector of Christ Church,  Hartford, Conn., and in 1817 went to Ohio where "he began a work for the church in Ohio,  and in truth of the whole West,  such as no other man then living would have attempted,  or probably would have accomplished."

He took charge of the Academy at Worthington,  organized several parishes,  three of which he assumed the rectorship of Himself.  He was elected Bishop and consecrated at Philadelphia,  February 11, 1819.  It was about this time that Salmon P. Chase,  his nephew,  became a member of his family.

He began his work with rare earnestness.  For several years it was necessary for him to gain his support as a tiller of the soil,  as his ministrations did not yield pecuniary return sufficient to pay his postage.  The need of helpers in his work,  who should be Western men inured to hardships,  turned his mind to the founding of a college for the training of such helpers.  He went to England to raise the funds to endow such an institution.  Great opposition and many obstacles were overcome by him both in America and England.

An anecdote describes his first experience in London;  One day Mr. Dow, of New Orleans, called on Mr. Butterworth,  Wilberforce's particular friend,  when in the course of conversation the latter said: "So you are from America.  Dr. Dow?  Were you acquainted with Bishop Chase?"  "Yes, he was my Pastor in New Orleans,  and I his physician and friend." "Tell me about him;  there must be something singular in him or he would not be neglected as he is in England."  "Singular!  I never knew anything singular in him but his emancipating his yellow slave,  and that,  I should suppose,  would not injure him here in England."

This story made Butterworth Bishop Chase's friend,  and through him he became the hero of the hour;  subscriptions poured in upon him until $30,000 were realized.  Lord Gambier,  Lord Kenyon,  Sir Thomas Ackland,  Lady Rosse and Hannah Moore helped him.

Returning to Ohio,  he purchased 8000 acres in Knox County and founded Kenyon College and Gambier Theological Seminary.  He was determined that the school should be located in the country.  "Put your seminary,"  he said,  "on your own domain;  be owners of the soil on which you dwell, and let the tenure of every lease and deed depend on the express condition that nothing detrimental to the morals and studies of youth be allowed on the premises."

Bishop Chase occupied the office of president of the college, performing a prodigious amount of labor,  making every obstacle give way before his indomitable will and persistent industry.  In all his labors he was ably seconded by his efficient wife and helpmate.  "Mrs. Chase entered with her whole soul into her husbands plans.  She was a lady perfectly at home in all the arts and minute of housewifery;  as happy in darning stockings for the boys as in entertaining visitors in the parlor,  in making a bargain with a farmer in his rough boots and hunting blouse as in completing a purchase from an intelligent and accomplished merchant,  and as perfectly at home doing business with the world about her,  and in keeping the multifarious accounts of her increasing household as in presiding at her dinner table;  or dispensing courtesy in her drawing room."

September 9, 1831,  Bishop Chase resigned the Presidency of the college and the episcopate of Ohio,  on account of differences that had arisen between himself and his clergy.  He entered upon missionary work in Michigan,  and in 1835 was chosen Bishop of Illinois,  when he again visited England,  raised $10,000,  and in 1838 founded Jubilee college at Robins Nest, Ill.  A friend described him as follows: "In height he was six feet and over;  the span of his chest was nearly,  if not quite,  equal to his height,  and with that noble trunk his limbs were in full and admirable proportion.  In a crowd his giant figure,  in front or back,  excited,  wherever he moved,  universal attention. Large and heavy in stature as he was,  he was remarkably light and graceful in his movements,  and,  when not ruffled with opposition or displeasure,  exceedingly agreeable,  polished and finished in his manner.  Toward those who betrayed hauteur in their deportment with him,  or whom he suspected as actuated by such a spirit,  or who positively differed with him as to his policy,  and especially toward those whom he looked upon as his enemies,  he was generally distant and overbearing,  and sometimes,  when offended,  perhaps morose.  In his bearing toward them his noble countenance was always heavy and lowering,  and his deportment frigid and unmistakably repulsive;  but in his general intercourse,  and always with his particular and intimate friends,  his address and social qualities were polished,  delightful and captivating;  his countenance was sunlight,  his manner warm and genial as balmy May,  and his deportment winning to a degree rare among even remarkably commanding and popular men.

His published works were, "A Plea for the West" (1826) "The Star in the West or Kenyon College," (1828)  "Defence of Kenyon College," (1831) and "Reminiscences: an Autobiography,  comprising a history of the Principal Events in the Author's Life to 1847" (2 vols.,  New York, 1848).


Historical Collections of Ohio, Henry Howe LL.D.