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Irah Chase Papers

Call Number: RG 296

Scope and Contents

The Irah Chase Papers, 1814-1864, primarily document the professional work of Chase. The collection is arranged according to the following categories: correspondence, sermons, addresses, lectures, unpublished literary manuscripts, publications, student lecture notes from Andover Theological Seminary, notes on readings, notes on sermons, miscellaneous papers and reports. Included in the correspondence are several letters which relate to early Baptist educational work in general and to the ministerial training school in Philadelphia and Washington in particular. The sermon notes were transcribed during his student days at Andover, and provide a record of chapel sermons not available elsewhere. The miscellaneous papers primarily relate to Baptist educational work in the early 19th century.

Also included is a small number of items related to Cummings family genealogy, collected by William Leverett Cummings, a descendant of Henry Savage Chase, son of Irah and Harriet Savage, as well as an addendum contain photographs of the Middle East and additional correspondence and writings.


  • 1814 - 1864

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from Andover Newton Theological School to the Yale Divinity Library in 2017.


The collection is organized into eight series:

Series I. Correspondence

Series II. Sermons

Series III. Addresses and Lectures

Series IV. Unpublished Literary Manuscripts

Series V. Publications

Series VI. Notes

Series VII. Miscellaneous Papers and Reports

Series VIII. Addendum


3 Linear Feet (7 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The collection documents Chase's theological training and his work at Columbian College and the Newton Theological Institution where he taught Biblical theology (1825-1838) and church history (1838-1845), as well as his later work as an author of tracts and articles for religious periodicals.

Biographical / Historical

Irah Chase was born in Stratton, Vermont, in 1793, and spent his childhood in that state. He graduated from Middlebury College in 1814, and from Andover Theological Seminary in 1817. After a year of service as a missionary in Virginia, Irah Chase co-founded a Baptist theological seminary in Philadelphia, which was relocated to Washington, D.C. and named Columbian College. Columbian College was chartered by Congress in 1821 and eventually was renamed George Washington University in 1904. In 1825 Chase moved to Massachusetts to inaugurate the course of study at Newton Theological Institution. At Newton he taught Biblical theology (1825-1838) and church history (1838-1845). After 1845 he engaged in literary work, and published several tracts and articles for religious periodicals. He died in Newton in 1864 and is buried in Newton Cemetery.
Guide to the Irah Chase Papers
Andover Newton Theological School and Yale Divinity Library staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Yale Divinity Library Repository

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