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The Religious Affiliation of
Samuel Chase
a Signer of the American Declaration of Independence
and U.S. Supreme Court Justice


Samuel Chase is regarded as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. He was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He was a delegate from Maryland. Samuel Chase was later a United States Supreme Court justice.

Samuel Chase was an Episcopalian and a devout Christian.

He was identified as an Episcopalian by the 1995 Information Please Almanac. (Source: Ian Dorion, "Table of the Religious Affiliations of American Founders", 1997).

From: B. J. Lossing, Signers of the Declaration of Independence, George F. Cooledge & Brother: New York (1848) [reprinted in Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, WallBuilder Press: Aledo, Texas (1995)], page 146:

Samuel Chase was born on the seventeenth day of April, 1741, in Somerset county, Maryland. His father was a clergyman of the protestant episcopal church [i.e., the Episcopal Church, the American province of the Anglican Communion], and possessing an excellent education himself, he imparted such instruction to his son in the study of the classics, and in the common branches of an English education...

From: B. J. Lossing, Signers of the Declaration of Independence, George F. Cooledge & Brother: New York (1848) [reprinted in Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, WallBuilder Press: Aledo, Texas (1995)], page 149-150:

[Samuel Chase] continued a member of Congress until in 1778, and was almost constantly employed in the duties of most important committees. Some of these were of a delicate and trying nature, yet he never allowed his sensibility to control his judgment, or shake his firmness of purpose...

He was chairman of a committee appointed by Congress to act in relation to those Americans who gave "aid and comfort to the enemy;" and it was his painful duty to recommend the arrest and imprisonment of various persons of this class, among whom were several wealthy Quakers of Philadelphia. An instance of his fearlessness in the performacne of his duty, may be properly mentioned here. During the summer of 1776, Reverend Doctor Zubly was a delegate in Congress from Georgia. By some means Mr. Chase discovered that he was in secret correspondence with the royal governor of Georgia. He immediately rose in his place and denounced Doctor Zubly as a traitor, before all the members of the House. Zubly fled, and was pursued, but without success...

...[Samuel Chase's] useful life terminated on the nineteenth day of June, 1811, when he was in the seventieth year of his age.

Judge Chase was a man of great benevolence of feeling and in all his walks, he exemplified the beauties of Christianity, of which he was a sincere professor. At the time of his death he was a communicant at St. Paul's church in Baltimore, the parish of which, when he was a child, his father had pastoral charge.

From: Robert G. Ferris (editor), Signers of the Declaration: Historic Places Commemorating the Signing of the Declaration of Independence, published by the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service: Washington, D.C. (revised edition 1975), page 45-46:
Fervid Revolutionary Samuel Chase led the campaign that crushed conservative opposition and aligned his colony with the others in the independence struggle. Labeled the "Demosthenes of Maryland" for his fancy albeit effective oratory, he also demonstrated skill as a writer... As an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, he became a controversial figure.

Chase was the son of an Anglican clergyman... Still a Justice, Chase died in Baltimore 2 months after he celebrated his 70th birthday. His grave is in St. Paul's Cemetery.

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Portrait: from Robert G. Ferris (editor), Signers of the Declaration: Historic Places Commemorating the Signing of the Declaration of Independence, published by the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service: Washington, D.C. (revised edition 1975).

Webpage created 13 November 2005. Last modified 22 November 2005.

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