US Congressman. Born in Saratoga Springs, New York, he graduated from the medical school of Middlebury College Vermont, in 1835 and setup a medial practice in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1850, he married Irene Emerson. Irene Emerson was the widow of Dr. John Emerson, the owner of the slave Dred Scott. Known as a outspoken opponent of slavery, in an effort to free Scott, Chaffee presented a case against slavery. The case led to a wide controversy resulting in the Supreme Court ruling in the infamous Dred Scott decision. Chaffee immediately arranged for the return of Scott to his original family owners for emancipation. In 1855, he was elected on the American Party ticket to the Thirty-fourth Congress and as a Republican to the Thirty-fifth Congress, serving until 1859. After his term, did not seek reelection and was a librarian of the House of Representatives, (1860-62). In 1876, he settled in Washington, D.C., engaged in the practice of medicine and was president of the Union Relief Association, (1880-93). He died at age 84 in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith