Born April 17, 1741, in Somerset County, Maryland, Chase was the only child of an Episcopal clergyman, Reverend Thomas Chase and Martha Walker. At 18, he relocated to Annapolis to study law under John Hall. He married Ann Baldwin in 1761, and they had seven children.They lived on the brink of poverty for several years until Chase was admitted to the bar in March 1763.
His fierce opposition to the Stamp Act led him to a strong friendship with another young lawyer, William Paca. Together they co-founded the Annapolis Sons of Liberty. They worked tirelessly to press for the nullification of the Stamp Act.
In November 1764, Samuel Chase ran for a seat in the Maryland Assembly lower house. It was a highly contested election, but he won and went on to represent Maryland at the 1st and 2nd Continental Congress. He was one of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence. There were four signers from Maryland: Charles Carroll, William Paca, Thomas Stone and Samuel Chase.
Chase married Hanna Kilty, in 1784, and they had two children.
He served as Chief Justice for the state of Maryland from 1788 to 1796. In 1796, he was appointed associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court by none other than President George Washington.
His service as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice was not without blemish. His extreme Federalist views led to his impeachment by the House of Representatives in 1804. Chase went on to be acquitted by the Senate. He served as a Supreme Court Justice from 1796 until his death on June 19, 1811. He is buried with his parents at Old St. Paul’s Cemetery, in Baltimore, Maryland.