Sunday, July 26, 2009

Kate Chase

Yesterday I was reading about Kate Chase again. I don't like the biography I have - too much speculation, too many words like probably or undoubtedly. I want facts. I have asked the library to order for me through interlibrary loan a copy of Kate Chase, Dominant Daughter. The least expensive copy I saw for sale online in $77, and that is way beyond the capabilities of my budget.

Kate fascinates me. She was beautiful and brilliant; her marriage fell apart; she fell from her pedestal and crashed in a big way, ending her life in humiliation and near poverty.

I went looking for more information about her online and found a notice in the NY Times for October 22, 1888 that she was writing her memoirs. None were ever published, as far as I can tell. Another notice in a literary journal the next year said she was writing a biography of her father and was considering writing her memoirs. What happened to these manuscripts, if they did indeed exist? I would love to read them. She has really captivated my imagination.

The house Kate and her father, Salmon P. Chase, lived in during the Civil War at 6th & E Streets in Washington, was demolished long ago. Another house owned by Chase called Edgewood, in which Kate lived after her divorce, was also demolished. A home in Rhode Island belonging to her ex-husband, William Sprague, burned and he nearly with it. I had this image of Kate's avenging ghost setting the fire, but the articles I read said something about faulty wiring being the cause.

Here is a picture of Edgewood, where Kate ended her days.

1 comment:

monix said...

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