Horace G. and Ellen Marian Chase papers (1852-1870)

Collection processed and finding aid created by Meg Hixon, January 2012
Manuscripts Division, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan

Summary Information

Title: Horace G. and Ellen Marian Chase papers
Creator: Chase, Horace G. (Horace Gair), 1827-1913 and Chase, E. Marian (Ellen Marian), b. 1822
Inclusive dates: 1852-1870
Extent: 0.5 linear feet
This collection contains the incoming personal correspondence of Horace Gair Chase and his wife, Ellen Marian Sherwin, throughout the mid-1800s. The Chases received letters from friends and family members, including cousins, siblings, and parents, who described their lives in Illinois, New York, and New Hampshire. Some correspondents, including Horace's father, shared their political opinions, particularly during the Civil War.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu

Access and Use

Acquisition Information

1996. M-3331.4.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation

Horace G. and Ellen Marian Chase Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically, with undated items and a calling card placed at the end.


Horace Gair Chase was born in Hopkinton, New Hampshire, on July 9, 1827, the son of Horace Chase and Betsey Blanchard. He was a shoemaker in Hopkinton until 1852, when he joined his brothers, Samuel Blanchard and Charles Carroll ("Charley"), in Chicago, Illinois, where the they eventually formed Chase Bros. & Co., a real estate firm later known as the Chicago Title & Trust Co. He married Ellen Marian Sherwin (b. 1822) on June 14, 1860, and they had four children: Samuel, Bessie, Lucy, and Horace. Horace G. Chase died in 1913.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 157 incoming letters to Horace Gair Chase and his wife, Ellen Marian Sherwin, during the mid-1800s, as well as a calling card.

Much of the earliest correspondence is made up of letters to "Hodge" (Horace G. Chase) from his brothers and father, who wrote after his move to Chicago in 1852. Many describe travel between New Hampshire and Illinois; in one letter, Horace's brother Charley compared the costs and itineraries of several travel routes (June 17, 1852). The elder Horace Chase often provided his sons with news of family members and acquaintances in Hopkinton, New Hampshire.

After 1859, much of the correspondence is addressed to Ellen Marian Sherwin, both before and during her 1860 marriage to Horace G. Chase. Friends and cousins wrote of their daily lives in Chicago and New York, and other topics, such as the death of Ellen's brother Edwin (August 5, 1861). Several writers mentioned the Civil War, most frequently expressing fervent devotion to the Union cause despite being occasionally disheartened. A few letters from this period are composed on patriotic stationery. After the war, Ellen's brother Johnny wrote from the USS North Carolina , offering his support for a Lincoln monument in Chicago and sharing the news of a friend's suicide (May 28, 1865). One item is a calling card for Mrs. T. E. Chandler.

Subject Terms

  • Batavia (N.Y.)--Social life and customs.
  • Chicago (Ill.)--Social life and customs.
  • Death.
  • Hopkinton (N.H.)--Social life and customs.
  • North Carolina (Ship of the line)
  • Patriotism--United States.
  • United States--Description and travel.
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
  • Chase, Horace, 1788-1875.
  • Chase, Betsey Blanchard, d. 1843.
  • Chase, Samuel Blanchard, b. 1823.
  • Chase, Charles Carroll, b. 1830.
  • Glidden, Ezra I.
Genre Terms:
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Visiting cards.

Contents List (Request Materials)

Request materials for use in the Clements Library
Container / Location Title
Correspondence [series]
Box   1 Folders   1-19
 March 3, 1852-July 27, 1870, and  Undated
Box   1 Folder   20
Calling card,  undated

Additional Descriptive Data

Related Materials

The Chicago Public Library holds a collection of Horace G. Chase papers.


Hardon, Charles. "Hopkinton Matters and Men." The Granite Monthly 41.10 (October 1909).