Lewis Nathaniel Chase papers, 1807-1941

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Chase, Lewis Nathaniel, 1873-1937
Lewis Chase taught in the English Department at Duke University beginning in 1929. It is unclear when/if he left the University. He died in 1937. The collection largely includes material pertaining to Chase's research on writer Edgar Allan Poe. It ranges in date from 1807-1941.
2 Linear Feet
Material in English
Collection ID:
University Archives Record Group:
29 -- Papers of Faculty, Staff, and Associates
29 -- Papers of Faculty, Staff, and Associates > 02 -- Individuals


Scope and content:

The collection includes correspondence pertaining to Chase's publications and research on Edgar Allan Poe's works, Chase's research notes, typescripts of Poe-related correspondence found in libraries, clippings, postcards and other memorabilia relating to Edgar Allan Poe. It also includes photographs, mostly commercial prints, of people and places related to Poe's life, including London scenes, the Poe cottage and Seagate Castle. Correspondence files are extremely brittle. Among the correspondents are Edmund Gosse, John Erskine and J. E. Spingarn. There is also an unidentified handwritten travel diary dated September 1858, which was found in the Woman's College Library, and believed to have been left by Chase. It details travels in New England and China. Paperclips damaging the files were replaced, as were disintegrating folders. The collection ranges in date from 1807-1941.

Biographical / historical:

Lewis Nathaniel Chase was born in 1873 in Sidney, Maine and grew up in Rochester, New York. He earned his A.B. in 1895 from Columbia University. After graduation, he studied stage dancing at Daly's Theater and with several private instructors. He spent one year in Philadelphia selling office equipment before returning to Columbia University and earning his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in 1898 and 1903, respectively. He subsequently taught English at the University of Indiana, the University of Louisville, and the University of Bordeaux in France. In 1910, he made a research trip to London, where an old acquaintance suggested that Chase write a volume on Poe for the Harrap's Poetry and Life series; this inaugurated Chase's exhaustive research into Poe's life. In 1916, Chase returned to the U.S. and taught Literature at the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Rochester. He relocated to India in 1920, where he was appointed professor of English Literature at Aligarh Muslim University. Within a few years, he moved to China, where he taught at four different universities. Eventually, he returned to the U.S., teaching at the University of California, the California School of Technology, Riverside College and Union College before joining the faculty of the English Department at Duke University in 1929. Besides Edgar Allan Poe, Chase also specialized in the work of Georgia poet Thomas Holley Chivers, utilizing Duke's collection of Chivers manuscripts. Chase died in 1937.

Acquisition information:
The Lewis Nathaniel Chase Papers were received by the University Archives as a transfer in 1958 and 1967.
Processing information:

Processed by Jessica Wood, November 2006

Encoded by Kimberly Sims, February 2007

Accessions A56 and A68-99 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.

Duke University -- History -- 20th century
Duke University. Department of English -- Faculty
Duke University. Department of English
Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849
Chase, Lewis Nathaniel, 1873-1937


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Collection is open for research.

Terms of access:

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Lewis Nathaniel Chase Papers, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.