Guide to the Lewis Nathaniel Chase Papers, 1807-1941


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.

Collection Details

Record Group
Lewis Nathaniel Chase papers
Chase, Lewis Nathaniel, 1873-1937
2 Linear Feet
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Material in English

Collection Overview

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.

More Biographical / Historical Info

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Collection is open for research.

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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.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

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

Contents of the Collection

Poeiana, 1807-1941
Box 1
Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1903-1907
Box 1
Unidentified Notebook, 1858 (thought to have belonged to Chase)
Box 1
Parodies on The Raven
Box 3
A New Poe Letter, 1934
Box 3
Poe and His Poetry - Reviews, Correspondence, 1914
Box 3
Poe and the London Critic
Box 3
Chase's Poe Lecture Notes, 1933
Box 3
Poe Death Notices
Box 3
Poe in England / Poe's Childhood Abroad and its Effects Upon His Works
Box 3
Poe in England - Letters, Etc.
Box 3
Poe in France
Box 3
John Bransky and His School
Box 3
Poe in France - Nancy Cope's Translation
Box 3
Poe in Putnam
Box 3
Poe Material at Clark Jr. Library - William Andrew
Box 3
Poe - New York Mirror - Typescript, 1845
Box 3
Poe's Father - Correspondence
Box 2
Poe's Lecture in Boston
Box 2
Chase - Poe's London - Manuscript, Clippings, Correspondence
Box 2
The Poe-Griswold Controversy
Box 2
Poe and His Poetry - Early Draft
Box 2
Poe and His Poetry - Carbon Copy
Box 2
Poe and His Poetry - Page Proof
Box 2
Giltspur - The Story of Church Street
Box 2
Census of First Editions and Other Original Materials
Box 2
Illustrations for Poe's Works
Box 4
Photographs Relating to Poe
Box 4
Postcards Relating to Poe
Box 4
Typescript of Eveleth-Whitman Correspondence, 1932
Box 4
Typescript of Davidson-Whitman Correspondence, 1932
Box 4

Historical Note

Biographical/Historical note

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.

Related Material

  • News Service Biographical Files, 1960-2004(Duke University Archives)
  • Clarence Louis Frank Gohdes Papers, 1811-1990s and undated (bulk 1905-1981)(Rare Books, Mansucripts and Special Collections Library, Duke University)
  • Eastwood-Bigelow Family Papers(University of Rochester, New York)

Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.


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.

Other Notes

Chase, Lewis NathanielThe English Heroic Play: A Critical Description of the Rhymed Tragedy of the Restoration, Chase, Lewis NathanielThomas Holley Chivers: a Selection,