Samuel Chase Biography
Samuel, one of the signers of the American Declaration of Independence; born
in Somerset Co., Md., April 17, 1741. He was admitted to the bar at the age of
20. Having become a member of the colonial legislature, he distinguished himself
by his bold opposition to the royal governor. He took the lead in denouncing and
resisting the famous Stamp Act. His revolutionary spirit placed him at the head
of the active adversaries of the British government in his State. The Maryland
Convention of June 22, 1774, appointed him to attend the meeting 'of the General
Congress at Philadelphia in September of that year. He was also present at the
session of December following, and in the subsequent Congresses during the most
critical periods of the Revolutionary War. That of 1776 deputed him on a mission
to Canada along with Dr. Franklin Charles Carroll, of Carrollton, and the Rev.
John Carroll, afterward Roman Catholic archbishop of Baltimore. He signed the
Declaration of Independence with promptitude. In June, 1783, the legislature of
Maryland sent him to London as a commissioner to recover stock of the Bank of
England, and large sums of money which belonged the State. In 1791 he accepted
the appointment of chief-justice of the General Court of Maryland. Five years
afterward President Washington made him an associate judge of the Supreme Court
of the United States. He was impeached by the National House of Representatives.
The trial of the judge before the Senate is memorable on account of the
excitement which it produced, the ability with which he was defended, and the
nature of his acquittal. He continued to exercise his Judicial functions with
the highest reputation till 1811. He died June 19 of that year.
People’s Cyclopedia, Vol. I (New York: Syndicate Publishing, 1914)