"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Samuel Chase

This c. 1773 portrait of Samuel Chase by Charles Willson Peale hangs in the Museum of the Maryland Historical Society.
"An ambitious lawyer and fiery orator nicknamed in his youth 'Old Bacon Face,' Chase rose to political power in Maryland by ardently supporting the Revolutionary cause With William Paca, whose portrait hangs in this gallery, he founded the Anne Arundel County Sons of Liberty chapter in opposition to the Stamp Act and, in 1776, became one of Maryland's signers of the Declaration of Independence. His successful public career culminated with his appointment to the United States Supreme Court in 1796. Despite his numerous accomplishments, he bears the distinction of being the only Supreme Court Justice subjected to impeachment proceedings for multiple charges including libel. The U.S Senate eventually acquitted him and Chase served on the court until his death in 1811." -- Maryland Historical Society
Col. Charles Chaille-Long and William Hand Browne in their 1917 article “Men of Maryland Specially Honored by the State or the United States.”  give this biography of Chase.
"Chase, Samuel, 1741-1811. Born in Somerset county, April 17, 1741; studied law : practiced in Annapolis; member of the General Assembly 1764-1784; sat in the Continental Congress, 1774, and was elected in 1776; sent on a special mission to Canada in 1775 to induce the Canadians to join in the revolution against Gr. Britain; signer of the Declaration of Independence; went England in 1783 as agent for the state of Maryland, to recoup the stock in the Bank of England which the state had purchased when a British colony; removed to Baltimore in 1786; justice of Baltimore criminal court in 1788; appointed Judge of General Court in 1791 and in 1796 appointed by Washington an associate Justice of the Supreme Court; impeached in 1804 on charges of malfeasance in office five years previous, tried in the Senate in 1805, and acquitted of all charges. March 5, 1805; resumed his seat upon the bench, and retained it until his death in Washington, D. C., June 19, 1811." -- Maryland Historical Magazine, Sept. 1917, Vol. XII, No. 3, P. 201.

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