Henry Chase

This biography is from Annals of the American Pulpit: Or, Commemorative Notices of Distinguished American Clergymen of Various Denominations, from the Early Settlement of the Country to the Close of the Year Eighteen Hundred and Fifty-five, with Historical Introductions, by William Buell Sprague, published by R. Carter and Brothers, 1859, Volume 7. Additional information given at the end is from Old Sands Street Methodist Episcopal Church, of Brooklyn, N. Y.: An Illustrated Centennial Record, Historical and Biographical, by Edwin Warriner, published for the author by Phillips & Hunt, 1885. Many thanks to James and Debra Wilson for contributing it to this website.

HENRY CHASE of the New York East Conference, a son of Daniel and Elizabeth CHASE, was born in Hoosick, Rensselaer County, N. Y., 9/10/1790. His parents were both educated as Friends, and spoke the "plain language" through life, though they ultimately became members of the Methodist Church. Daniel CHASE was a hardy farmer, of great energy and uncommon power of endurance. His third child, and eldest son, Henry, inherited these qualities from his father. He spent his boyhood amid the rugged labours of a newly settled country. He thirsted for knowledge which the District School could not afford. He besought his father, with great earnestness, and even with tears, to allow him to enjoy the advantages of an Academy; but his father, in consideration of his having a large family, and but very limited means of support, felt constrained to deny his request. Henry, unyielding in his determination to become an educated man, began a course of study, which ultimately included the Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French and German Languages, several branches of the higher Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, Rhetoric, Metaphysics, and finally Theology. To some or other of these branches he gave whatever leisure he could command from his daily labours, during a period of several years, depending on such casual aid as he could find in the vicinity or among his friends.

Mr. Chase became a member of the Methodist Church, when he was about 18 years of age; and the next year (1809) he was engaged as a Preacher on the Pownal [Vermont] circuit. In the spring of 1810, he was transferred to the Pittsfield [Massachusetts] circuit. In the summer of 1811, he made an excursion to Ohio, the then far-off western wilderness. In 1812, he taught a school in Easton [Washington County, NY] and, from this time till 1818, divided his time between teaching, labouring on his father's farm, and preaching on the Lyons circuit. In the fall of 1818, he removed to Troy, where he taught a school, and preached on the Sabbath, for more than 2 years. In the spring of 1820, he removed to New York [City], and became a teacher in the Wesleyan Seminary. In November 1821 he became the assistant of the Rev. John TRUAIR, in preaching at the Mariners' Church, though his first service there had been in February preceding. In January 1823 he resigned his place in the Wesleyan Seminary and devoted himself exclusively to the seamen's cause, preaching, visiting in ship and on shore, and exerting himself in every possible way for the moral improvement and elevation of this neglected class of the community. In 11/1824 he transferred his labours to the Methodist field in New York City, leaving Mr. Truair still in charge of the sailors' cause. In 5/1826, he was recalled to the Mariners' Church, in full charge, and continued in this relation till 7/8/1853, the day of his death. His disease was paralysis, which attacked first the middle finger of his right hand; after an interval, the whole arm, though not wholly disabling it; and, finally, the whole system - causing death on the second day of the last attack. He was unable to speak throughout his fatal illness. His funeral sermon was preached by the Rev. J. B. Wakely.

On 9/10/1809 Mr. Chase was married to Rachel PINE of Swansy, Mass. They had 10 children: 4 sons and 6 daughters. His children were all well educated, and 3 of his sons went to College. Mrs. Chase died in New York, 6/1842, aged 55 years.

From Old Sands Street Methodist Episcopal Church, of Brooklyn, N. Y.: An Illustrated Centennial Record, Historical and Biographical, by Edwin Warriner, published for the author by Phillips & Hunt, 1885:

Children of Henry and Rachel CHASE:

The daughters as well as the sons of Henry Chase enjoyed the best educational advantages of their time; two of them attended Rutgers Female Seminary in New York.

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