Chase was born in Worcester, Massachusetts. At nine years of age, he was introduced to Latin; Greek at ten. He graduated in 1848 at Harvard University. Beginning in 1850, he served as a substitute Latin professor at Harvard for a year, and another year and a half as an instructor, and then a tutor.
He studied in Europe from 1853 to 1855, at the University of Berlin and the Collège de France mainly, and as a listener at other universities. He was professor of Greek and Latin at Haverford College 1855-1875. He was elected as a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1864. From 1875 to 1886 he was president of Haverford. In 1887 Chase was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society. He was a member of the American committee for the revision of the New Testament, and a delegate to the Stockholm Philological Congress of 1889.
- Hellas: Her Monuments and Scenery (1863; at Internet Archive)
- An address on the character and example of President Lincoln (1865; at Internet Archive)
- A Latin Grammar (1882; at Internet Archive)
His “Use of Italics in the English Bible” was part of an 1879 pamphlet issued by the Bible revision committee.
- Cicero's Tusculan disputations: book first, the dream of Scipio and extracts from the dialogues on old age and friendship (1866)
- Horace (1884; at Internet Archive)
- The histories of Livy (1882; at Internet Archive)
- Virgil, The Æneid (1884; at Internet Archive)
- Selections from the Satires of Juvenal (1885; at Internet Archive)
- Harold N. Fowler (1930). "Chase, Thomas". Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
- "APS Member History". search.amphilsoc.org. Retrieved 2021-04-16.
- American Antiquarian Society Members Directory
- Cicero's Tusculan disputations: book first; the dream of Scipio and extracts from the dialogues on old age and friendship. WorldCat. 1866. OCLC 9472615. Retrieved 24 October 2012.