Thornton Chase: chapter 9 Chapter Nine

DENVER

      In the late summer of 1882, Thornton and Eleanor Chase moved from Pueblo to Denver, where Thornton accepted a job in a large music store being opened in the new opera house block.[1] Undoubtedly the greater theatrical opportunities offered by Denver were another reason for the move; with 35,000 people, Denver had seven times the population of Pueblo and was the hub of all business and culture for the Rocky Mountain states.[2] References to Thornton's theatrical activities in Denver are few--a systematic examination of Denver's numerous and lengthy newspapers is not practical--but they suggest that his acting success continued. One source lists "Thornton B. Chase" as the basso for the Denver Opera Club and for the Denver Chorus Club and as a soloist in several choirs. Apparently the source refers to his activities in 1883, the year after he arrived in Denver. Another source, probably also referring to 1883, mentions him as a "popular actor." In December 1887 Thornton is known to have sung in Handel's "Judas Maccabeus," performed by the Denver Chorus Club.[3]

      Thornton continued to earn part of his living through publishing; the 1883 Denver city directory lists his occupation as "journalist."[4] Probably the bulk of his journalism consisted of his poetry. Just after his move to Denver, he wrote his best-remembered Colorado poem, and the only one to have been recently republished. "Tom Bowen's Ride" value lies not in its poetic quality as much as in its subject matter, which was not only dramatic but also very current when the poem was written. Thornton explained that he wrote it "between Saturday noon [16 September 1882] and Sunday morning, and the next day sold it for one hundred dollars cash."[5] "Tom Bowen's Ride" described the mad dash of a wealthy mine owner and former state judge to the Denver Republican convention, where he was a candidate for United States Senator. Its eighteen stanzas appeared soon thereafter in the Denver Inter-Ocean:

In Denver the war of election was hot,
And both of the factions, engaged at the spot,
Were massing their forces with utmost exertion
Each claiming a triumph with ardent assertion;
While, down in San Juan, from his home in the clouds,
Tom Bowen was watching the dense-surging crowds,
And, seeing that matters there needed attention,
Decided to start to the Denver Convention.

So down from the Summit, where golden ores hide,
O'r roads hardly broken and roughest to ride,
A twenty-mile ride brought him into Del Norte.
From whence he could travel by rail to the sortie;
But, reaching the depot just three minutes late,
The train rolling off at a twenty-mile gait
He saw on the plain, just a mile from the station!--
Did he swear?--He said something concerning damnation.

Two hundred and eighty miles still left to go!
The caucus next day! And no ghost of a show
To get there! It might well have caused words heroic;
And Tom isn't famous for being a stoic!
But see! standing there by the side of the track
A dirty old hand-car, with pump-handle rack!--
But palace car never look'd half so inviting
To Tom, as that hand-car, a half hope inciting.

Alamosa was thirty-five miles on the way,
And, making connections, the train might delay,
The chance was a slim one, but grit wouldn't shirk it:
In less than a minute he'd hired men to work it.
"All Aboard!" yelled the Judge, and each sprang to his place,
Away sped the car in an earnest stern chase;
And dimly the train, in the distance receding,
Grew smaller as into the mist it was speeding.

      Several stanzas describe the race of the hand car all the way to Alamosa, Bowen pumping during much of the trip, and its arrival at the town's train station. There,

            He jumped to the platform--but found that the train
Had gone, like the hope he'd relied on in vain!
He stood for an instant completely confounded
But only an instant, for in his ear sounded
The hum of an engine just leaving its load,
He saw it and rapidly ran down the road,
And yelled as he leaped on the side of the tender
"Go on! CATCH THE PASSENGER GOING TO DENVER!"

The driver, surprised, look'd at Tom with a stare,
And said "where's your orders?"--The answer came "THERE!"
"AS MUCH AS YOU WANT TO CATCH HER!" he added.--
And showed up a pocket book thoroughly padded!
"THE FIREMAN'S GONE HOME AND HE'S GOT A SICK KID."
"DRIVE ON! DAMN THE FIREMAN! I'LL FIRE!" and he did;
The engineer opened her throttle, and filled her
Great lungs with steam breath, and she honor'd her builder.

She trembled and snorted and started away
With a rush that said plainly it wasn't for play--
And, out on the rails that stretched over the valley,
The miles and the minutes together kept tally!
As under the glare of its light the track whirled,
It seemed like an engine devouring the world;
And swifter it plunged into darkness defiant,
As Tom cramm'd the coals in the heart of the giant.

Fort Garland, Trinchera and Placer were passed,
And resolute Tom reached the mountains at last,
But there was the end of the lower division--
The engineer swore that he'd lose his position,
As sure as he ran any further, they'd sack him,
But Tom urged him on, vow'd the whole State should back him,
And upward they went on the side of the mountains,
While out from the engine poured steam-hissing fountains.

And as they ran on to the swift-rising grade,
Tom battered the coal chunks with hammer and spade;
And up on the side of the Sangre de Cristo,
In front of the furnace, he looked like Mephisto--
Arms bare to the elbows--all muscle and bone--
And eyes gleaming red as the fire on them shown--
A picture of pluck and unchanging persistence,
As, shovel in hand, he defied time and distance.

A long fifteen miles, rising three thousand feet,
In twenty-two minutes!--what record can beat?
And on a strange road in a black night to run it!
But Pluck, Grit and Bowen had certainly done it.

            ---------------------------

And there stood the train which Tom Bowen had missed
And as he jumped on, his big black blistered fist
Was grabb'd by Jim Galloway, who had been raving,
Because he thought Tom had got left beyond saving;

The rest of the trip, without labor or pain,
Was taken by Tom on the regular train,
And those who so boldly announced their intention,
Did not run the State in the Denver Convention.

      Apparently Tom Bowen and his friends liked the poem; Galloway sent a copy to an eleven-year-old girl and asked her to memorize it. In reply, she sent back a short poem, inspired by Chase's, that was published in a Denver newspaper. Even twenty years later Chase received a request for a copy of his poem, which he described as a "political doggerel."[6]

      Soon after moving to Denver, Thornton Chase wrote another significant poem, which was never published. "Lovest Thou Me?" was composed some time in 1883 and offers an invaluable glimpse into Thornton's religious beliefs. It was inspired by John 21:15-17, where Jesus asks Peter three times "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs." The first two stanzas repeat the question and picture nature's reaction to it:

"Lovest thou Me?" The might Lord of Love
Spake to the fisher by fair Galilee
The waves grew bright, and, swelling up the beach,
Sought but to touch his garment's hem, or reach
The print, his sandals made: The trembling trees
Shivered with conscious joy, and happy bees,
Crooning and nestling at the lily's heart,
Wondered to find that it could tears impart.

"Lovest thou Me?" The tender thrilling words,
Swift zephyrs hastened from his lips to seize,
And bear aloft thro' space. The wandering birds,
Filling the air with rival harmonies,
Like winged thoughts, came flashing down to earth,
And gentle beasts, from plains of grassy worth
Drawn by the wooing music of his voice,
Gathered about their Maker to rejoice.[7]

      Nineteenth-century religious literature is filled with references to nature, but the use to which Chase put the images is significant. Nature is described in the poem as responding to the spiritual power of its Master and not as itself divine. Hints of pantheism, such as are common in the writing of Ralph Waldo Emerson and other Transcendentalists, are absent; Chase maintains a transcendent monotheism.

      The third stanza considered Peter's own reaction to Jesus's question:

"Lovest thou Me?" The humbled fisher heard
The words, thrice uttered, and his heart was stirred
With mingled grief and joy and bitter shame.
Thrice had his voice denied his Master's name,
Crying --"I know him not!"--And thrice, ere dawn,
The crowing cock accused the faithless one.
Now, thrice repentant, he, his soul outpoured--
"Thou knowest that I love Thee, O my Lord!"

      The fourth stanza contains Thornton's personal meditation on the words and suggests their importance to him in the good times he was then experiencing:

Almost a score of centuries--since then,
The greybeard sexton, Time, has deep entombed;
And still the question tries the hearts of men,
Searching for Love in souls, by truth illumed.
When fortune smiles and life seems good to live,
"Lovest thou Me?" asks He, who all doth give:
When stern afflictions throng and sorely test,
"Lovest thou Me?" cries He, who knoweth best.

      The last two lines, perhaps, allude to the experience of love that Thornton had when in the depths of his anguish. In the fifth and last stanza Thornton set Jesus' love in a cosmic perspective:

The harmony of worlds,--the wondrous shoals
Of starry wanderers in empyreal seas;
The stedfast [sic] sun, to farthest globe that rolls,
Sending his messengers with life and peace;
The perfect Law, that all conditions suits;
The growing food--the trees--the flowers and the fruits;
All--far and near--His loving Wisdom, tell;
"Lovest thou Me?" asks He who doeth well.

      The poem reveals Thornton's mystical attachment to the figure of Jesus Christ. Like his previous poems that employ religious images, this poem does not contain traditional Protestant concepts such as sin, atonement, and salvation. Rather, the love of God and his messenger is central to the religious experience to which the poem speaks. It also suggests that, in 1883, Thornton's religion focused not on mainline Protestant dogmas, but on the mystical experience of God and God's love.

      Strengthening this commitment to religious experience was Thornton's decision to join the Denver Swedenborgian church, about 1883. Swedenborgianism was like standard American evangelical Protestantism in that it stressed the Bible as the word of God, but departed radically from evangelicalism in its biblical interpretation. Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1771), its founder, was a Swedish scientist, natural philosopher, mystic, and poet. The son of a Swedish Lutheran bishop, at age fifty-seven he abandoned his prolific and successful scientific career in favor of writing theology. His principal work was the Arcana Coelestia, an eight-volume commentary on Genesis and Exodus, in which Swedenborg developed most of his religious ideas. Central to them was his concept of correspondences, belief that objects in the physical world corresponded to, or represented, spiritual realities in another plane of existence. Biblical verses also represented spiritual reality in symbols. Swedenborg sought to expound an elaborate set of symbolic biblical interpretations that he believed had been revealed to him. Swedenborg claimed his interpretations constituted the promised Second Coming of Christ.[8]

      By advocating a symbolic meaning to biblical verses, Swedenborg was able to depart radically from the standard interpretations offered by evangelicals. He rejected belief in the Trinity and in Christ as the Son of God, and rejected the emphasis on sin, atonement, and salvation that followed from the traditional Christology. Rather, Swedenborg saw God as an essence consisting of two primary qualities: love and wisdom, which he saw as corresponding to the warmth and light of a spiritual sun. Jesus Christ incarnated God's qualities of love and wisdom and brought them to a humanity that had progressively strayed farther from God.

      Thus Swedenborg favored a mystical, love-centered approach to the Christian message, one that was very appealing to Chase, especially after he experienced his vision of God's love. In the fervently evangelical Protestant atmosphere of mid-nineteenth century America, Swedenborg's interpretation found considerable favor among others rebelling against the dogmas of the church of their childhoods. Ralph Waldo Emerson, William James, and Bronson Alcott were numbered among his admirers. Those who believed in alternative healing techniques (mesmerists, phrenologists, water curists), communication with the spirits of the departed (Spiritualists), and other unusual ideas often were interested in Swedenborg. His books sold widely and had a far greater influence than the number of his American followers suggests. The Swedenborgian movement, even after splitting into two sects over the question of the nature of Swedenborg (one group raised him to the level of Christ) had churches in most cities. Its popularity only declined in the late nineteenth century, when evangelical Protestantism weakened its grip on American thinking sufficiently to make possible the growth and success of less explicitly Christian groups, such as Theosophy, Vedanta Hinduism, Buddhism, and ultimately groups like Transcendental Meditation.

      Thus, Thornton Chase's acceptance of Swedenborgianism signifies that in 1883 he had moved to the ideological frontier of Protestantism. No other religious group existed in the late nineteenth century that was as intellectually respectable or numerous and had departed farther from mainstream Protestant beliefs.

      Thornton's references to his membership in the Swedenborgian church are few. In one place Chase noted that he had studied the Arcana Coelestia "for years" and described Swedenborg as a "noble man." He later looked back on his involvement in the church from the Bahá'í perspective that he later acquired:

You know that for five years I studied Swedenborg daily and was a worker in the Swedenborgian Church. Although it is most beautiful and filled with wonderful Truth, yet it does not contain ALL Truth as is now brought to us [by the Bahá'í Faith]. Swedenborg was undoubtedly a "Divine Philosopher," but he was not the culmination of the Revelation of God, although he was a forerunner thereof. . . . Jesus was as Swedenborg depicted Him.[9]

Clearly, Thornton retained a deep respect for Emanuel Swedenborg and his ideas. After Chase became a Bahá'í, he sought to tell the Denver Swedenborgians about his new faith, and in one letter, to a German Bahá'í who had probably been a Swedenborgian, he even quotes Swedenborg.[10]

      He never describes what the Denver church was like or what his role in it was, but Swedenborgian records give a few details. A Swedenborgian society was first organized in Denver in early 1878; Richard De Charms (Junior) was hired as its pastor, and a chapel was procured. By 1883, forty-eight persons had been baptized as church members, fifteen within the previous year. The church had a core of thirteen active members and twenty to thirty-five in attendence every Sunday. Catechetical classes were held frequently to instruct new members, and a Sunday school existed to teach the children. The entire congregregation often traveled to nearby towns to hold services with Swedenborgians who could not always go to Denver.[11]

      Like most churches, it had an active social life. A "New Church social club" organized monthly meetings for "social diversion and literary improvement."[12] In 1886 they held a "Japanese lawn party" at the home of a church member that also served to raise money for the society:

The lawn and veranda were decorated in Japanese style with lanterns, fans and umbrellas. Just outside the front gate, Japanese fireworks, managed by Mr. Howland and a score of assistants, flashed up into the sky, while people chatted and ate ice-cream, and strolled down a made-to-order "lover's lane" and said "My Lord" to "the Mikado" and "My Lady" to the pretty Yum-Yum who sat in the flower booth.[13]

Certainly Thornton Chase would have loved the use of themes from a play by Gilbert and Sullivan; but there is no reference to his involvement in the organizing of the social, or of any other church event, in Swedenborgian records. Consequently there is no evidence that he was one of the active members of the church.

      Thornton's involvement in Swedenborgianism apparently ended about 1888. Church records indicate that in 1888 the Denver Swedenborgian society split into two groups, one of which became the "Denver Society of the Lord's Advent."[14] Chase never mentions the split, hence its impact on his decision to leave the church cannot be evaluated. His explanation why he decided to leave Swedenborgianism is a bit confusing. He notes that he could not in good conscience accept the Virgin Birth of Jesus, taught by Emanuel Swedenborg, and hence he "abandoned all faith in the doctrines of the Christian Church." Thornton adds this decision occurred "about 26 years ago," or in 1880; but this dating contradicts his other statements that indicate he did not become a Swedenborgian until about 1883.[15] One way to reconcile the contradiction is to infer that he abandoned the mainline Protestant churches in 1880 because of their teaching of the Virgin Birth, but that when he joined the Swedenborgian church he temporarily suspended his rejection of the doctrine, until about 1888. Possibly the split in the Denver church caused his faith in Swedenborgianism to wane and made its teaching of the Virgin Birth a more serious problem for him. When he left Swedenborgianism, Thornton had to resume his search for the religious truth for which he yearned.

      When Thornton lived in Boston and Chicago, he may have been too consumed by his personal problems to have studied religion very much, and the hamlets and small towns of Wisconsin, Kansas, and Colorado would have offered very few opportunites. Hence his Denver years may have been his first opportunity to study other religions in depth. Probably by the mid-1880s Thornton Chase had read James Freeman Clarke's classic Ten Great Religions; first published in 1871, the book immediately emerged as America's most popular work on world religions. It went through nineteen editions in the next thirty years. By the 1880s many Hindu scriptures had been translated, Buddhism had emerged as a very popular subject of study, and comparative religion had begun to emerge as a scholarly field.[16] Thus, many books were available through which Thornton could pursue his quest.

      Thornton described his religious search, later in life, in these words:

      A man searched long for a treasure. He delved in mines of ancient lore, seeking to reach pre-historic strata of learning, with the thought that the deeper into earthly records he could penetrate, the nearer he would come to the center and source of things and thus find the pure gems of original Truth. He considered not that Truth is Light, an ever shining Sun above the earth; that all things owe their origin to that light; that the same Sun shines now as at the beginning, and that whatever he might bring up out of the depths of the past could only prove its worth and beauty in the sunlight of to-day.[17]

      Thus Thornton's search, in the 1880s, was based on the history of religion and its ancient truths; he later contrasted the look backward to the "sunlight of to-day" that is, the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh. One example of the ancient teachings that Thornton studied and came to accept is reincarnation. A comment he made in 1909--"for fifteen years the writer was a confirmed reincarnationist"--indicates that he began to believe in the doctrine about 1885, since he abandoned reincarnation about 1900.[18] Possibly he was reading books on Hinduism at the time. He may also have studied Theosophy, a movement that started in New York in 1875 and whose publications soon became very popular among Americans searching for religious alternatives. Theosophy was based on ideas from American Spiritualism (which focused on communication with the dead) and from Hinduism. Among Theosophy's interests were reincarnation and communication with "ascended" spiritual masters.

      Thus, the Denver phase of Thornton Chase's life saw partial religious fulfillment. It also saw financial success. In the summer of 1883 Thornton went prospecting for silver in the San Juan Mountains with Stuart and Ed J. Maxwell. Ed Maxwell was a prominent lawyer in Pueblo, having moved to that city from New York in 1880; apparently Stuart Maxwell was his brother.[19] Both men were friends of Chase; descendants have a photograph of Chase and the Maxwell brothers dressed as mountaineers. On 15 August the Maxwell brothers found silver on a mountain ridge above the treeline at an altitude of over 12,000 feet, a mile or two east of South River Peak and nineteen miles south of the modern town of Creede. On one side of the claim was a cliff of yellowish volcanic rock, which probably inspired the claim's name: the Gilt Edge Lode. On 5 September Chase and Stuart Maxwell went to the claim and erected four stone piles to mark its boundaries. The Maxwell brothers filed an official claim at Del Norte on 22 October for a plot of ground 300 feet wide and 1,500 feet long. On the same day the Maxwell brothers and Thornton Chase sold the claim to the Amity Gold and Silver Mining Company of Pueblo for $250,000.[20]

      Such a sum was an enormous amount of money in 1883, when a typical white-collar worker earned about a thousand dollars a year and a house sold for about five-thousand dollars. There are no known legal records stating how much of the fortune Chase received. Since the records suggest Chase was not part of the party that first discovered the claim, it is possible he received much less than a third; and we know that Chase continued to work for a living. The Denver city directory for 1887 lists him as a "bookkeeper" for Floyd and Company, brokers in grain, provisions, and stocks. The next year he had obtained a more promising job; he was the "state manager" of the Union Mutual Life Insurance Company, for whom he continued to work for the rest of his life.[21]

      Having built a new and successful life in Colorado and undoubtedly still smarting from the pain of his first divorce, Thornton apparently turned his back on New England. On 5 December 1884 his father Jotham died of "double pneumonia" in Springfield, and there is no evidence that Thornton was notified.[22] When Cornelia S. Chase, Jotham's wife and Thornton's stepmother, filed a petition with the Hampden County Probate Court to be named administratrix of the estate--Jotham having died without writing a will--she listed all next of kin and stated that James B. T. Chase was "in parts unknown, not having been heard from for more than eight years and supposed to be dead."[23] This was not true. There was, first of all, no reason to assume that Thornton was dead. Further, Thornton's letter to the Newport Superior Court contesting Annie's request for a divorce--of which Annie Chase was aware--had been written less than seven years earlier. Thornton had last written Annie seven and a half years earlier. Annie supported Cornelia's petition by signing it, yet did not correct the error. When the estate was finally divided up, all or most of it went to Cornelia; Thornton received nothing, which he later resented considerably. Cornelia's rejection of Thornton in his father's death is final evidence of the antipathy between the two.

      The 1880s found Thornton Chase in a considerably better position than had the 1870s. Literary, artistic, financial, and religious successes were crowned by domestic happiness, a goal that had eluded Thornton all too long. A private poem that he wrote from Del Norte, Colorado to his mother-in-law on 2 December 1883 suggests that he was finally part of a close and loving family:

Oh mother dear! Dear Mother,
Our baby's in bed
And says "Do write to Mother,
For the pain that's in my head
Won't let me think a minute;
And if you'll just begin it,
You soon can write a letter,
And then I shall feel better."
That's what our baby said

----------------

And so with such inviting
I can't refuse the writing
Nor would I, if I could;
For, though I seldom show it
(I'm sure, you, Mother, know it)
I love you--as I should
For we are both your debtors
For many kindly letters
And pages of advice,
Which give our Nellie courage
And in her dear heart nourish
Good thoughts to make her wise.[24]

      Thornton's subsequent description of Eleanor's sickness and the efforts to cure her indicates familiarity with alternative healing practices, although it is unlikely that all of the methods were really tried:

On last Thanksgiving morning,
Old-fashioned pain gave warning
That Nell would soon be sick;
And, ere the saint and sinner
Sat down to turkey dinner,
The martyred fowl to pick,
The ladies and the doctor,
In Ether's power had locked her
To ease the cramping pain;
For other drugs and lotions,
And allopathic notions,
Had all been tried in vain.

--------------

To mitigate her trials,
A host of flasks and vials
Gin, Turpentine and Brandy
And pills, disguised as candy,
The syringe hypodermal,
And waters highly thermal,
The battery magnetic,
And feeding dietetic,
Flat-irons heated torrid
And ice upon her forehead,
And fifty other horrid
Drugs, medicines and mixtures,
Machinery and fixtures
Fought with the cramps and strictures
till baffled, foiled, defeated,
The aches and pains retreated,
Left Nellie's strength depleted.
But danger's fairly cheated,
And now, with life remaining,
Each hour new vigor gaining
She's still "our little Nell."
She's on the pillows climbing
And laughing at my rhyming
I think she's almost well.

-------------

The Sabbath bells are ringing
And soon I must be singing
Bass in a country choir
And so, goodbye dear mother
Some day I'll write another
If this one does not tire.
I'm not a Saxe or Shelly,
But just wrote this for Nellie
To make her well again.
Please, mother, answer quickly.
For when Nell's feeling sickly,
Your letters ease her pain.

      Your son,

            Thornton

      The poem captures Thornton's love for his wife and mother-in-law as well as his wit and humor. His life had been rebuilt from the depths to which it had sunk in 1873-78. Only three things eluded Thornton and prevented his joy from being complete. One was resolution of his unhappy relationship with his stepmother, his ex-wife, and his children. The second was his and Eleanor's failure to have a child. The third was his religious quest, which remained unfulfilled. Thornton continued to read books and articles on religion, to meditate on the Bible, and to turn to the Lord of Love for sustenance. He would have to be patient.

Footnotes

[1]The Colorado Daily Chieftain, 20 Sept. 1882, 3, in Robert H. Stockman, Thornton Chase Research Notebook, p. 12.21, author's personal papers.

[2]Denver's 1880 population is available in Compendium of the Tenth Census (June 1, 1880, Part I (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1883) 452.

[3]Paul Porchea, The Musical History of Colorado (Denver: Charles Wesley, 1889) 164. The Denver Public Library, in its card catalogue on historical subjects, has a card on Thornton Chase that refers to an article in the Rocky Mountain News of 13 April 1883, p. 5, col. 1, which calls Chase a "popular actor." No such reference to Thornton Chase, however, was found when the author examined the paper itself. Presumably an indexing error was made, but the information on the card is probably accurate (notes in Thornton Chase Research Notebook, p. 12.9). Porchea, Musical History 64.

[4]Corbett and Ballenger's Eleventh Annual Denver City Directory Containing a Complete List of the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business, Business Firms, Etc. in the City of Denver for 1883 (Denver, Col.: Corbett and Ballenger, 1883) 172.

[5] The Colorado Daily Chieftain, 20 Sept. 1882, 3. The poem has been reprinted twice in recent years: J. B. Thornton Chase, "Tom Bowen's Ride," The San Luis Valley Historian 10.4 (1978): 4-9; I am indebted to Ruth Marie Colville for sending me a copy of this journal. P. R. "Bob" Griswold, Rio Grande: Along the Rio Grande (publisher and date of publication not available), 96-98; I am indebted to Dean Stansbury for supplying me with a photocopy.

[6]The Denver Republican, 27 January 1883, in Thornton Chase Research Notebook, p. 12.1A; Thornton Chase to Thomas F. Dawson (copy), 3 May 1905, TC.

[7]Thornton Chase, "Lovest Thou Me?," MS, TC. The manuscript is written in a smooth, cursive hand with occasional changes added in a shaky hand, suggesting that the original text was written in 1883 and the additions were made in the last few years of Thornton's life.

[8]Sydney Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People, vol. 1 (Garden City, N.Y.: Image Books, 1975) 585-86; "Swedenborg, Emanuel," in The New Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume 11, Micropaedia (Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1986) 437-38.

[9]Thornton Chase to P. M. Blake, 26 April 1902 (copy), 3, TC.

[10]Thornton Chase to George Haigis (copy), 2 March 1911, TC.

[11]New Jerusalem Messenger, 13 Feb. 1878, 93; 21 Feb. 1883, 107; New-Church Messenger, 30 June 1886, 356; 3 Sept. 1886, 134; 10 Oct. 1888.

[12]New Jerusalem Messenger, 21 Feb. 1883, 107.

[13]New-Church Messenger, 28 July 1886, 50.

[14]New-Church Messenger, 19 Dec. 1888.

[15]Thornton Chase to `Abdu'l-Bahá (copy), 19 April 1906, 3, TC.

[16]One of the best studies of the study of Eastern religions in America is Carl T. Jackson's The Oriental Religions and American Thought: Nineteenth-Century Explorations (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1981). James Freeman Clarke's Ten Great Religions is summarized on pages 125-29. Clarke was a Harvard classmate of Samuel Francis Smith.

[17]Thornton Chase, "A Brief American History of the Bahai Movement," TS, 1, TC. Note, this typescript was later printed in Star of the West 5.17 (19 Jan. 1915): 263, 265. However, when it was edited for publication, this statement was omitted.

[18]Thornton Chase to Mrs. Louisa Johnson (copy), 16 January 1909, 7, TC. Chase also wrote about reincarnation to a Mrs. Preston (copy) on 9 June 1909, and to `Abdu'l-Bahá (copy) about June 1909 (the letter is undated, but `Abdu'l-Bahá replied to the letter in September 1909).

[19]History of the Arkansas Valley, Colorado (Chicago: O. L. Baskin, 1881) 805.

[20]Location certificate for the Gilt Edge Lode, claimed by Stuart Maxwell and Ed J. Maxwell, dated 22 October 1883, Office of the County Clerk and Recorder, Rio Grande County, Del Norte, Col., Book 16, pages 367-68; Deed of sale of the Gilt Edge Lode by Thornton Chase, Stuart Maxwell, and Ed J. Maxwell, to the Amity Gold and Silver Mining Company, dated 22 October 1883, Office of the County Clerk and Recorder, Rio Grande County, Del Norte, Col., Grantee General Index 1, Book 10, pages 213-14. Original photograph of Thornton Chase and the Maxwell brothers in possession of Thornton Chase Nelson.

[21]Corbett and Ballenger's Fifteenth Annual Denver City Directory Containing a Complete List of the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business, Business Firms, Etc. in the City of Denver for 1887 (Denver, Col.: Corbett and Ballenger, 1887) 194; Corbett and Ballenger's Sixteenth Annual Denver City Directory Containing a Complete List of the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business, Business Firms, Etc. in the City of Denver for 1888 (Denver, Col.: Corbett and Ballenger, 1888) 223.

[22]Death certificate of Jotham G. Chase, 5 December 1884, Springfield City Hall, Springfield, Mass., copy in author's personal papers.

[23]Petition of Cornelia S. Chase to the Probate Court of Hampden County, Springfield, Mass., 16 December 1884, in the Hampden County Probate Records, Springfield, Mass.

[24]Poem from Thornton Chase to his mother-in-law, Del Norte, Col., Sunday, 2 December 1883, in the hands of Thornton Chase Nelson (copy in author's personal papers).
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