Richard Moale Chase

Date of Birth


Date of Death


Letters Authored


Letters Received


183 years ago, Richard Moale Chase passed away.


Richard Moale Chase was the son of Jeremiah Townley Chase, who served as mayor of Annapolis, Maryland, from 1783-1784 and a delegate to the Continental Congress during the same years. He was also the third cousin of Samuel Chase, signer of the Declaration of Independence.

The Richard Chase letter was written on 6 October 1826 from Annapolis, Maryland to Randle Hulse Moale in Baltimore, Maryland. Its content is about the sell of a twenty year old slave woman and her four year old son and is particularly enlightening for the manner in which he describes the slaves in much the same way one would describe material goods. He requests that Randle Moale help him negotiate a price for the slave woman and her son with a man named “Woolfolk.” This is particularly interesting, since Austin Woolfolk, who resided in Baltimore, was one of the leading slave traders in the country. Although it cannot be absolutely verified that Richard M. Chase’s letter is referencing Austin Woolfolk, it seems quite likely given the content of the letter, the date of the letter, 6 October 1826, and the fact that Austin Woolfolk was operating a slave trade out of Baltimore on Pratt Street in Baltimore. Ralph Clayton, a researcher for the Pratt Library, wrote an article on 7 January 1998 for the “Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel”, in which he describes a slave insurrection that took place on the schooner “Decatur” on 20 April 1826, an incident similar to the one that would take place on the Spanish ship “Amistad” twelve years later. The slaves involved in this incident belonged to Woolfolk and he personally walked them, bound in chains, to the small boats that would take them out to the Decatur. The article is fascinating and can be found at this link: