Family, Friends, and Fugitives
During his last year in Washington Chase decided to establish his legal practice in Cincinnati. He considered several alternatives and was especially desirous of following the Wirt family to Baltimore, but state law required three years of residency before he could practice in Maryland's civil courts. He would thus be confined "during that time entirely to the criminal court." He might have considered practicing in Maryland in any case if after a year or two the rule could have been suspended, but Wirt was unable to assist him in this regard. Chase considered various other possibilities and even thought briefly of a trip south for a look at New Orleans as a possible residence.1 Before that time arrived he had set his mind on Cincinnati.
Several factors led Chase to this decision, most importantly his boyhood experiences. Although he had not enjoyed the year spent at Cincinnati College in 1822, his disenchantment had been with conditions at the college and with his uncle's harsh personality rather than with the city. Cincinnati offered exactly the kind of challenge and opportunity he sought. Senator Jacob Burnet of Ohio advised that although the bar was crowded, the city "offers to you stronger inducements than any other place in the West." Indeed, the opportunities there appeared unlimited. No longer a frontier crossroads, Cincinnati was the largest city west of the Appalachians and all- important in the growing east-west as well as north-south trade. Chase's trek in March 1830 from Washington, including a jolting