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Samuel Chase, 1796-1811

SAMUEL CHASE was born in Somerset County, Maryland, on April 17, 1741. He read law in the office of an Annapolis attorney and was admitted to the bar in 1761. He practiced law at the Mayor’s Court in Annapolis and appeared before other courts throughout the County. In 1764, Chase was elected to the Maryland General Assembly and served there for twenty years. He served as a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses and signed the Declaration of Independence. Following the Revolutionary War, he served as a Judge of the Baltimore Criminal Court from 1788 to 1796 and as Chief Judge of the General Court of Maryland from 1791 to 1796. President George Washington nominated Chase to the Supreme Court of the United States on January 27, 1796, and the Senate confirmed the appointment on February 4, 1796. In 1803, Chase became the only Justice of the Supreme Court in history to be impeached, but the Senate refused to convict him and the bill of impeachment was dismissed. Chase served on the Supreme Court for fifteen years and died on June 19, 1811, at the age of seventy.

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