amuel Chase signed the Declaration of Independence and was appointed by President George Washington as a Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
was born April 17, 1741, the son of Anglican clergyman
Rev. Thomas Chase
, and was home-schooled till age 18.
He traveled to Annapolis, Maryland, studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1761.
was elected to the Maryland General Assembly.
With a reputation as a firebrand, he founded a Maryland chapter of the
Sons of Liberty
to protest The Stamp Act of 1765 and the British Government's usurpation of citizen's rights.
At the age of 24,
challenged the authority of the English Parliament to tax the Colonists without their consent and forcibly opened the public offices in Annapolis, seized the hated stamps and destroyed them.
When Maryland learned that Boston's harbor had been closed in 1774 to punish the Tea Party colonists,
and four other Marylanders were appointed as delegates to the Continental Congress for
"agreeing on a general plan of conduct, operating on the commercial connection of the colonies with the mother country, for the relief of Boston and preservation of American liberty."
served on dozens of committees, and in the spring of 1776, even traveled to Canada with Ben Franklin, Charles Carroll and Rev. John Carroll in an unsuccessful attempt to persuade Canadians to join in the Revolution.
, more than any other, was responsible for persuading Maryland to vote for independence.
On August 2, 1776,
a signer of the Declaration of Independence
, along with other Maryland delegates, William Paca, Thomas Stone and Charles Carroll of Carrollton.
America's God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations
At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, political intrigues arose to remove George Washington from being Commander-in-Chief.
staunchly supported Washington.
After the War, at Maryland's 1788 Convention to decide whether to accept the new United States Constitution,
initially voted against it, as he thought the States were relinquishing too much control.
In a letter he signed "Caution," (
, October 12, 1787),
warned of the rush to adopt the Constitution:
"Suspicion should take the alarm ... Questions of consequence ... ought not to be hastily decided ...
The decision, for or against the plan ... involves no less than the happiness or miser of you and all your posterity forever."
was appointed Chief Justice of Baltimore's District Criminal Court, and in 1791, he became
Chief Justice of the Maryland General Court
In 1796, President George Washington appointed
as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court met in the basement of the U.S. Capitol until it was given its own building in 1935.
A controversial personality,
had articles of impeachment filed against him in 1804, but he was acquitted of all charges.
Samuel Chase was one of the most influential Justices on the early Supreme Court, following
Chief Justice John Marshall
served on the U.S. Supreme Court till his death, JUNE 19, 1811.
As was the practice at the time, U.S. Supreme Court Justices also served on lower courts.
In the Massachusetts Supreme Court case of
M'Creey's Lessee v. Allender
, 4 H. & Mett. 259, 1799,
Justice Samuel Chase
was decisive in determining if Irish emigrant Thomas M'Creery had indeed become a naturalized United States citizen and therefore able to leave an estate to a relative. John M'Creey, in Ireland.
"Thomas M'Creery, in order to become...naturalized according to the Act of Assembly ... on the 30th of September, 1795,
took the oath ... before
the Honorable Samuel Chase,
Esquire, then being the Chief Judge of the State of Maryland ... and did then and there receive from the said Chief Judge, a certificate thereof ...
... 'Maryland; I,
, Chief Judge of the State of Maryland, do hereby certify all whom it may concern, that ... personally appeared before me Thomas M'Creery,
and did repeat
and subscribe a declaration of his belief in the Christian Religion
, and take the oath required by the Act of Assembly of this State, entitled, An Act for Naturalization.'"
Justice Samuel Chase rendered the court's decision in the Maryland Supreme Court case of
Runkel v. Winemiller
is of general and public concern, and
on its support depend
, in great measure,
the peace and good order of government
, the safety and happiness of the people.
By our form of government,
the Christian religion is the established religion;
all sects and denominations of Christians are placed upon the same equal footing
, and are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty."
Who is the King in America? And Who are the Counselors to the King? An Overview of 6,000 Years of History & Why America is Unique
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