Colonial Hall -- Biographies of America's Founding Fathers

-Signers of the Declaration
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Page 5

Samuel Chase


   This was a severe trial to a man of the independent spirit of Judge Chase. Its disagreeableness was not a little increased by a severe attack of the gout, during the progress of the impeachment. After his acquittal, he continued to exercise his judicial functions, unmolested by his enemies, and with his usual ability.

   In the year 1811, his health began to fail him, and though his disease was slow in its progress, he well understood, that it was of a nature to bring him to the grave. His death occurred on the nineteenth of June. In his dying hour, he appeared calm and resigned. He spoke of his domestic affairs with great propriety, and to his weeping family recommended composure and fortitude. He was a firm believer in Christianity, and but a short time before his death, having partaken of the sacrament, he declared himself to be in peace with all mankind. In his will, he directed that no mourning should be worn for him, and requested that only his name, with the dates of his birth and death, should be inscribed on his tomb.

   From the foregoing sketch, it is easy to perceive that Judge Chase was no ordinary man. He possessed an intellect of great power, and a courage which was at all times undaunted. It was his unhappiness to have feelings which were too irascible and vehement for his personal comfort, and which betrayed him at times, into a course of conduct, that sober judgment would have pronounced at least impolitic. Yet few men were more sincere or more firmly patriotic. He ardcnt1y loved his friends, and by them, was ardently loved in turn. He loved his country. In the days of her deepest depression, he stood firm to her interests, and will occupy a distinguished place among those who have "graced the rolls of fame."

Source: Rev. Charles A. Goodrich Lives of the Signers to the Declaration of Independence. New York: William Reed & Co., 1856. Pages 338-346. (Some minor spelling changes may have been made.)

See also:

  • The biography of Anne Baldwin Chase, Samuel Chase's wife


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    Last modified January 5, 2005