Chase, Warren (1813–1891)
One of the first apostles of Spiritualism in America. Born
in Pittsfield, New Hampshire, Chase began to study mesmerism
in Southport, Wisconsin, by 1843. He was street commissioner
and road master at the time, and discussed both this subject
and Charles Fourier’s scheme of socialism in the local
lyceum through that winter. The result was a socialist settlement
in May 1844 in Fond-du-Lac County. The Wisconsin Phalanx,
as the community was known, lasted for six years. It was
the only one of the experiments that yielded, at the time of dissolution,
substantial profit to its members. After the dissolution
Chase began to take a more active part in politics, became a
senator in Wisconsin in 1848, and was nominated for governor
the following year.
The philosophy of Andrew Jackson Davis made a deep impression
on him, and when the Spiritualist movement was
born, he became its untiring apostle for over thirty years. His
Spiritualist experiences are embodied in his Forty Years on the
Spiritual Rostrum (1888) and his socialist activities in The Life
Line of the Lone One, an Autobiography of the World’s Child (1857).
Sources
Chase, Warren. Forty Years on the Spiritual Rostrum. Boston,
1888.
———. The Life Line of the Lone One, an Autobiography of the
World’s Child. Boston B. Marsh, 1857.
Noyes, John Humphrey. Strange Cults & Utopias of 19th Century
America. 1870. Reprinted as History of American Socialisms.
New York Dover Publications, 1966.