The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Chase, Philander
CHASE, Philander, an American clergyman, born in Cornish, N. H., Dec. 14, 1775, died at Jubilee college, Illinois, Sept. 20, 1852. He graduated at Dartmouth college in 1795. His religious views at this time were those usually held by the Congregationalists, but having met with a prayer book of the Episcopal church and carefully examined its contents, he studied for the ministry in that church, and was ordained in New York in May, 1798. For several years he was occupied in missionary labors in various parts of the state of New York. In 1805, on account of his wife's health, he went to New Orleans, where he labored zealously in behalf of the Episcopal church. Returning to the north in 1811, he became rector of Christ's church, Hartford, Conn. Deeply interested in the religious condition and prospects of the great west, he went in 1817 to Ohio, and entered into the work of planting and building up the church in that state. He became bishop of Ohio Feb. 11, 1819, and prosecuted his labors amid many severe trials; but feeling the necessity of educational influence and power, he visited England in 1823 to ask for pecuniary aid toward founding a college and theological seminary in Ohio. He collected about $30,000, and on his return purchased 8,000 acres of land and laid the foundations of Kenyon college and Gambier theological seminary. Disputes having arisen between the bishop and some of his clergy in regard to the proper use of the funds obtained from England, he resigned in September, 1831, his jurisdiction in Ohio and the headship of the college. Intent upon missionary labor, he removed further west, and in 1835 was chosen bishop of Illinois. He again, visited England, and collected about $10,000 for the same purpose as before. His labors culminated in the founding in 1838 of Jubilee college at Robin's Nest, Illinois, where he spent the remainder of his life. He was a man of more than average ability, of indomitable perseverance, and great strength of will, and was the most energetic and successful pioneer of the Episcopal church in the west. His publications are: “A Plea for the West” (1826); “The Star in the West, or Kenyon College” (1828); “Defence of Kenyon College” (1831); and “Reminiscences,” an autobiography, containing the principal events in the author's life to 1847 (2 vols. 8vo, 1848).