Paul Morphy (1837 - 1884)
This quote has been examined by Edward Winter in Unsolved Chess Mysteries (26) on Chessbase.
Quoted from page 14 of R.D. Yates Checker Player by W.T. Call (New York, 1905):
‘Paul Morphy, the chess genius, sought to obtain a glimpse into the scientific depths of checkers without too much trouble, but never succeeded in getting within sight of anything under the surface of the game. When he went to England he asked Thomas Lear, who played both checkers and chess, to explain to him “wherein the beauty of draughts playing lay”. On another occasion, half in jest, half in earnest, the great chess master said to a New York player, “Checkers is for tramps”.’