Salmon Portland Chase
Secretary of the Treasury  
Chief Justice United States Supreme Court
January 13, 1808 - May 7, 1873
Childhood
Salmon Portland Chase was born on January 13, 1808 to Janet Ralston and Ithmar Chase, in Cornish, New Hampshire.
He was the eighth of eleven children of a tavernkeeper and local officeholder. He was named after an uncle Salmon
chase a lawyer in Portland, Maine. After the death of his father, Chase was raised by his uncle, Protestant Episcopal
religious leader Bishop Philander Chase in Ohio. He made the trip with an elder brother who was attachede to Gen.
Cass's expedition to the waters of the Upper Missippi. He studied in the common schools of Windsor, Vermont, and
Worthington, Ohio. The young Chase went on to study at Cincinnati College in 1822, transferred to Dartmouth in his
junior and ultimately graduated with honors from Dartmouth in 1826. At Dartmouth he taught at the Royalton Academy in
Royalton, Vermont. He was a school headmaster for a time in Washington, D.C.,

Lawyer
He studied law under U.S. Attorney General William Wirt and continued to teach. He was admitted to the bar in 1829. In
1830 he returned to Cincinnati to set up his practice.

Due at least partially to his religious upbringing, Chase was a passionate abolitionist. He gained a position of
prominence at the bar as an abolitionist lawyer. He regularly defended African-American runaway slaves and the white
citizens who harbored them, critiquing the Fugitive Slave Law in his arguments .In a name meant to be uncomplimentary
Kentucky opponents called him 'The Attorney-General of Fugitive Slaves'.

In
Birney v Ohio, 8 Ohio, 230, Birney was charged with violating the Ohio of 1804 against harboring a slave. Despite
Chase's defense Judge Este found Birney guilty and fined him fifty dollars. Chase appealed to the state supreme court,
where the case was heard in January 1838. Chase made a vigorous argument that Matilda having been brought to Ohio
by the consent of her master, became free. She had had not escaped from one state to another, once brought to Ohio
by Lawrence she ceased to be a slave. Since Matilda was not a slave in Ohio, Birney could not be accused of harboring
a fugitive slave. The court dismissed the charges against Birney on grounds that he could not have known Matilda was a
slave when he hired her. The indictment had failed to charge Birney with assisting a fugitive slave.

To show their strong sense of gratitude for Chase's defense of Samuel Watson, a runaway slave, and for his other
undertakings on behalf of slaves, he was presented with a sterling silver pitcher, as a testimonial of gratitude for his
efforts in the Watson case and for other services. The pitcher bore the following inscription:

A testimonial of gratitude to 'SALMON P. CHASE FROM THE COLORED PEOPLE OF CINCINNATI, for his various public
services in behalf of the oppressed and particularly for his ELOQUENT ADVOCACY OF THE RIGHTS OF MAN in the
case of Samuel Watson, who was claimed as a fugitive slave, Feb. 12, 1845.'

Accepting the gift Chase stated the beliefs from which he was never to waiver.

"True democracy makes no inquiry about the color of the skin, or the places of nativity , or any other similar
circumstances of condition. Whenever it sees a man, it recognizes a being endowed by his Creator with original
inalienable rights... I regard, therefore, the exclusion of colored people from the election franchise as incompatible with
true democratic principles."

He maintained a country home near Loveland. He was married to Catherine Jane Garniss on March 4, 1834.The death
of his wife, in 1835 in childbirth,  triggered Chase's spiritual reawakening and devotion to causes such as abolition. The
child would die as an infant. He worked initially with the American Sunday School Union and began defending fugitive
slaves.

He wrote an annotated collection of the Statutes of Ohio (3 vols.), which soon became the authoritative reference work
in the state judicial system. Chase was a member of the literary Semi-Colon Club; its members included Harriet Beecher
Stowe and Calvin Stowe. Chase became the leader of the political reformers, as opposed to the Garrisonian abolitionist
movement.

In 1837 Chase argued before the Ohio Supreme Court in defense of James G. Birney, an abolitionist charged with
harboring an escaped slave. His eloquent indictments of the Fugitive Slave Law were later reprinted in newspapers and
widely circulated.

His argument in the case of
Jones v. Van Zandt on the constitutionality of fugitive slave laws before the U.S. Supreme
Court attracted particular attention. In this and similar cases, the court ruled against him, and John Van Zandt's
conviction was upheld.

His "
Appeal of the Independent Democrats," following passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, was a protest against a
slave power conspiracy to nationalize slavery. Chase contended that slavery was local, not national, and that it could
exist only by virtue of positive state law. He argued that the federal government was not empowered by the Constitution
to create slavery anywhere and that when a slave leaves the jurisdiction of a state where slavery is legal, he ceases to
be a slave; he continues to be a man and leaves behind the law that made him a slave.

Chase would later state that slavery was "the worst form of despotism" "the ownership of one man by another is the most
absolute subjection known to human experience."

Beginning Political Career
Beginning in 1840, Chase was elected to the Cincinnati City Council as a Whig. He remained a Whig for a year then
helped create the abolitionist-oriented Liberty Party where he remained for seven years. This party morphed years later
into the Free Soil Party (later largely absorbed by the Republican Party). Building the Liberty Party was slow going. By
1848 Chase was leader in the effort to combine the Liberty Party with the Barnburners or Van Buren Democrats of New
York to form the Free Soil Party. The Liberty Party and the Free Soil Party became one with the call of the Free Soil
Party Convention in Buffalo, N.Y, Aug. 9, 1848. Writing strong resolutions Chase, wrote most of the platforms for the
Free Soil Party. 'No more slave states and no more slave territory were the party's main agenda. The platform called for
an end to slavery in the territories and a ban on the admission of any new slave states to the union. Under this ticket, he
was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1849.

Chase articulated the "slave power conspiracy" thesis, devoting his energies to the destruction of what he considered
the Slave Power —the conspiracy of Southern slave owners to seize control of the federal government and block the
progress of liberty. He coined the slogan of the Free Soil Party, "Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men".

Chase as Senator
Chase was elected Senator on the Democratic ticket but he was not accepted into the Democratic caucus. Chase
introduced the successful Pacific Railroad Act. He spoke against the
Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act
of 1854. The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska legislation, and the subsequent violence in Kansas, convinced Chase of
the futility of trying to influence the Democrats.

Though he had an active political life, Chase experienced much personal loss, spurring him to rely more steadfastly on
his religious beliefs. He had two more wives: Eliza Smith (married on September 26, 1839) who died six years later  and
Sarah Bella Dunlop Ludlow who married on November 6, 1846 and died on January 13, 1852. Both Eliza and Sarah died
of tuberculosis. Though Chase had several children, only two survived their father.

Governor of Ohio
Chase's political ambitions continued to find fruition. He was elected to the Ohio governorship in 1855., becoming the
first Ohio governor from the Republican Party, which he'd helped to form. Chase was the first Republican governor of
Ohio, serving from 1856 to 1860, where he supported women's property rights rights, public education, reform of the
state militia and prison reform.

Running for President 1860
He made a bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 1860, but lost to Abraham Lincoln. With the exception of
William H. Seward, Chase was the most prominent Republican in the country and had done more against slavery than
any other Republican. But he opposed a "protective tariff", favored by most other Republicans.

At the 1860 Republican National Convention, he got 49 votes on the first ballot, but he had little support outside Ohio.
Chase got 34 Ohio's votes on the first ballot; 12 delegates supported other candidates. He got only 15 votes from other
non-Ohio delegates. Abraham Lincoln won the nomination, and Chase supported him.

Chase Re-elected to the Senate
Chase had been elected to the Senate on February 3, 1860, defeating George Pugh, the Democrat who had been
elected to succeed him six years earlier. He served three days before his next appointment.

Secretary of the Treasury
He was appointed secretary of the treasury by President Abraham Lincoln—a result of Chase's earlier support for
Lincoln at their party convention. Chase took office on March 7, 1861 and served as Secretary of the Treasury till June
28, 1864.

Chase implemented a unified nationwide banking system with the National Banking Act, and devised the idea of utilizing
paper currency to function as war notes. The "greenback" bills, which came in various denominations, became the basis
for the federal paper money system that Americans use today. The first U.S. federal currency, the greenback demand
note, was printed in 1861–1862. It was Chase's responsibility to design the notes. In an effort to further his political
career, his face appeared on a variety of U.S. paper currency, starting with the $1 bill  Chase was instrumental in
placing the phrase "In God We Trust" on United States coins in 1864. The Legal Tender Acts of 1862 and 1863enabled
the printing of paper money as a legal substitute for gold and silver for pre-existing debts including taxes, internal duties,
personal debts, and excise taxes. debts. After the war as Chief Justice, Chase declare the Legal Tender Acts
unconstitutional.

Among other measures, he took out a $50 million loan from private bankers, instituted new taxes, increased the number
of treasury agents and helped push for the establishment of what would become the Internal Revenue Service in order
to collect taxes to finance the government's war effort. In 1862 George S. Boutwell set up the first Internal Revenue
Office of the Treasury Department.  Under Chase's direction, the Treasury Department oversaw the creation of  the
Bureau of Engraving and Printing which produced the new federal notes. Chase conceived the National Banking Act,
which was voted into law in February 1863. This measure created a national bank and a single currency, enabling the
federal government to issue millions of dollars in bonds to help fund the war effort.

Chase interests ranged well beyond the Treasury Department. He often involved himself in policy regarding the army
and allied himself with Republican Radicals in the Senate while using Treasury agents to set up a political network
around the country. He was a strong and persistent advocate of black rights and a consistent advocate of emancipation.

Notes on the Emancipation Proclamation (David Donald, editor, Inside Lincoln's Cabinet: The Civil War Diaries of
Salmon P. Chase, p. 149-152)
In his diary, Chase recorded the cabinet meeting on September 22, 1862 where the draft
Emancipation Proclamation
was approved:

"To Department about nine. State Department messenger came, with notice to Heads of Departments to meet at 12.—
Received sundry callers.—Went to White House.

All the members of the Cabinet were in attendance. There was some general talk; and the President mentioned that
Artemus War had sent him his book. Proposed to read a chapter which he thought very funny. Read it, and seemed to
enjoy it very much—the Heads also (except Stanton) of course. The Chapter was 'Highhanded Outrage at Utica.'

The President then took a graver tone and said:—

'Gentlemen: I have, as you are aware, thought a great deal about the relation of this war to Slavery; and you all
remember that, several weeks ago, I read to you an Order I had prepared on this subject, which, on account of
objections made by some of you, was not issued. Ever since then, my mind has been much occupied with this subject,
and I have thought all along that the time for action on it might very probably come. I think the time has come now. I wish
it were a better time. I wish that we were in a better condition. The action of the army against the rebels had not been
quite what I should have best liked. But they have been driven out of Maryland, and Pennsylvania is no longer in danger
of invasion. When the rebel army was at Frederick, I determined, as soon as it should be driven out of Maryland, and
Pennsylvania is no longer in danger of invasion, to issue a Proclamation of Emancipation such as I thought most likely to
be useful. I said nothing to any one; but I made the promise to myself, and (hesitating a little)—to my Maker. The rebel
army is now driven out, and I am going to fulfill that promise. I have got you together to hear what I have written down. I
do not wish your advice about the main matter—for that I have determined for myself. This I say without intending any
thing but respect for any one of you. But I already know the views of each on this question. They have been heretofore
expressed, and I have considered them as thoroughly and carefully as I can. What I have written is that which my
reflections have determined me to say. If there is anything in the expressions I use, or in any other minor matter, which
anyone of you thinks had best be changed, I shall be glad to receive the suggestions. One other observation I will make.
I know very well that many others might, in this matter, as in others, do better than I can; and if I were satisfied that the
public confidence was more fully possessed by any one of them than by me, and knew of any Constitutional way in
which he could be put in my place, he should have it. I would gladly yield it to him. But though I believe that I have not so
much of the confidence of the people as I had some time since, I do not know that, all things considered, any other
person has more; and, however this may be, there is no way in which I can have any other man put where I am. I am
here. I must do the best I can, and bear the responsibility of taking the course which I feel I ought to take.

The President then proceeded to read his Emancipation Proclamation, making remarks on the several parts as he went
on, and showing that he had fully considered the whole subject, in all lights under which it had been presented to him.

After he had closed, Gov. Seward said: 'The general question having been decided, nothing can be said further about
that. Would it not, however, make the Proclamation more clear and decided, to leave out all reference to the act being
sustained during the incumbency of the present President; and not merely say that the Government 'recognizes,' but
that it will maintain, the freedom it proclaims?'

I followed, saying: 'What you have said, Mr. President, fully satisfies me that you have given to every proposition which
has been made, a kind and candid consideration. And you have now expressed the conclusion to which you have
arrived, clearly and distinctly. This it was your right, and under your oath of office your duty, to do. The Proclamation
does not, indeed, mark out exactly the course I should myself prefer. But I am ready to take it just as it is written, and to
stand by it with all my heart. I think, however, the suggestions of Gov. Seward very judicious, and shall be glad to have
them adopted.'

The President then asked us severally our opinions as to modification proposed, saying that he did not care much about
the phrases he had used. Everyone favored the modification and it was adopted. Gov. Seward then proposed that in the
passage relating to colonization, some language should be introduced to show that the colonization proposed was to be
only with the consent of the colonists, and the consent of the States in which colonies might be attempted. This, too, was
agreed to; and no other modification was proposed. Mr. Blair then said that the question having been decided, he would
make no objection to issuing the Proclamation; but he would ask to have his paper, presented some days since, against
the policy, filed with the Proclamation. The President consented to this readily. And then Mr. Blair went on to say that he
was afraid of the influence of the Proclamation on the Border States and the Army, and stated at some length the
grounds of his apprehensions. He disclaimed most expressly, however, all objection to Emancipation
per se, saying he
had always been personally in favor it—always ready for immediate Emancipation in the midst of Slave States, rather
than submit to the perpetuation of the system.

Supreme Court Chief Justice
Lincoln and Chase had a tumultuous working relationship, and Chase resigned as secretary in 1864. (It has been
reported that Chase was only threatening his resignation to force a political matter—a ploy he'd used a few times
previously—not believing the president would call his bluff.)

When Chief Justice Roger B. Taney died in October 1864, Lincoln named Chase to replace him. Lincoln issued the
nomination on December 6, 1864. Chase was confirmed by the Senate that very day, and immediately received his
commission, holding the office from 1864 until his own death in 1873. Chase was a complete change from the pro-
slavery Taney; one of Chase's first acts as Chief Justice was to admit John Rock as the first African-American attorney
to argue cases before the Supreme Court.

One benefit of Chase's selection as chief justice was the presumption that he would uphold the Lincoln Administration's
actions during the war. President Lincoln told Massachusetts Congressman George S. Boutwell: "There are three
reasons why he should be appointed and one reason why he should not be. In the first place, he occupies a larger
space in the public mind, with reference to the office, than any other person. Then we want a man who will sustain the
Legal Tender Act and the Proclamation of Emancipation. We cannot ask a candidate what he would do; and if we did
and he should answer, we should only despise him for it. But he wants to be president, and if he doesn't give that up it
will be a great injury to him and a great injury to me. He can never be president." (Don E. Fehrenbacher and Virginia
Fehrenbacher, editors, Recollected Words of Abraham Lincoln, p. 38.)

Among his most prominent decisions while on the court were:

In
Ex Parte McCardle in another challenge to military commissions. McCardle had been convicted by a military
commission for publishing inflammatory articles condemning reconstruction in the south. A federal court denied his writ
of habeas corpus under the habeas corpus act of 1867.  He appealed to the Supreme Court.

Before his case was heard and over President Andrew Johnson's veto, Congress enacted a statue known as the
McCardle repealer, denying the Supreme Court appellate jurisdiction in habeas corpus petitions brought under the
habeas corpus act of 1867. Chief Chase in 1869 accepted the constitutionality of the repealer because Article III,
section 2, made the Court's appellate jurisdiction subject to 'such exceptions' . . . as the Congress shall make.'

Ex Parte Yerger when the Court accepted jurisdiction of a habeas corpus appeal under the judiciary act of 1789.
The Court found the Act of March 1868 did not affect appellate jurisdiction of a court established by the Constitution or
acts of Congress passed before 1867. Chief Justice Chase used the Yerger case to admonish Congress for the
McCardle repealer. Warning Congress that the Court would not accept total denial of it's power of
habeas corpus,
Chase reaffirmed the scope of the
Writ of habeas corpus.

The cases of
Ex parte Garland (1867) and Cummings v. Missouri (1867) together overturned laws that required loyalty
oaths from Southerners.

In 1868 he ruled in
Mississippi v. Johnson that the president was within his rights to enforce Reconstruction measures in
the South.

Texas v. White (74 U.S. 700), 1869, in which he asserted that the Constitution provided for a permanent union,
composed of indestructible states, while allowing some possibility of divisibility "through revolution, or through consent of
the States";

In
White V. Hart 1872 the Court reaffirmed it's decision in Texas V. White that the relationships of States of the Union
were a political question for the political branches to resolve.

Veazie Banks v. Fenno (75 U.S 533), 1869, upholding banking legislation of the Civil War that imposed a 10% tax on
state banknotes.

Hepburn v. Griswold (75 U.S. 603), 1870, which declared certain parts of the legal tender acts to be unconstitutional.
When the legal tender decision was reversed after the appointment of new Justices, in 1871 and 1872 (Legal Tender
Cases, 79 U.S. 457), Chase prepared a very able dissenting opinion.

In
Bradwell v. Illinois (1872), the court ruled that states that did not allow women to practice law were not in violation of
the Fourteenth Amendment. This set the precedent that women's rights were not granted by this amendment. In this
case, Chase was the only justice to dissent.

During his time on the bench, Chase oversaw cases connected to the Reconstruction era, deliberating over arguments
that enforced the sanctity of the Union while maintaining his support for African-American civil rights. Chase suffered a
stroke in 1870 that temporarily kept him from participating in the Supreme Court. In spite of poor health, he returned to
the bench in 1871 and continued to preside as chief justice until his death. He also handled the impeachment trial of
President Andrew Johnson and made two more unsuccessful bids for the presidency, in 1868 (as a Democrat) and 1872
(as a Liberal Republican).

Death
At the age of 65 Chase was stricken with a stroke at the home of his daughter, Janet (Nettie) Ralston (Mrs.W.S. Hoyt).  
in New York City. He succumbed to death on May 7, 1873 with his two daughters and Senator William Sprague at his
side.

A funeral was held in the Episcopal Church of St. George in New York City. On May 11 the body was taken back to
Washington, D.C. for a formal state funeral. The Chief Justice laid in State in the Old Senate Chambers on the same
catafalque that had held the brier of President Lincoln.

He was buried in Washington, D.C. His remains were interred first in Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington, D.C., and re-
interred in October 14, 1886 in Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio. Salmon P. Chase lobbied the state legislature
to have Spring Grove Cemetery chartered on January 21, 1845 and received two free lots for his services. The first
burial in the cemetery took place September 1 of that same year. Chase allowed his two lots to remain vacant for years
and then in the 1860's, he began the process of disinterring his wives and children and transferring their coffins to
Spring Grove so they could all be located in lot ten and eleven. When his body arrived six carriages escorted the
remains to Music Hall. The seven African-American pallbearers (two were formerly Mr. Chase's servants) sat down on
either side of the remains as a guard of honor. Mrs. Katharine Chase Sprague, entered the hall and passed down the
centre aisle the great organ sounded a funeral composition. Today the Chase Family is located at Spring Grove
Cemetery, except for his daughter Janet Chase Hoyt who is in Laurel Hill Cemetery, located in Thomasville, Georgia.

Janet Chase Hoyt's Article in New York Daily Tribune
Sunday, February 15, 1891

“However indifferently told, personal recollections of important people and events are of interest - even if they are only
the reminiscences of one who was a child at the time, and who remembers persons and thing only from a childish point
of view. There is this to be said also of children, that they observe and think far more than their elders give them credit
for: and perhaps the very indifference with which their presence is regarded gives them opportunities of seeing people
as they are that and older person might not have. An amusing instance of this came under my observation quite
recently. A little friend was invited to lunch with a family whose suave and beautiful elder sisters greatly admired for her
perfect manners and kindly ways. In the evening, the small visitor called the family to dinner table with the following:
“Good gracious, mother! if you think Miss So - and - So is nice, I only wish you could have seen her today! Cross! I
never saw anything like it. She came in while we were at luncheon. First, Mrs. --- (her mother) had ordered something all
wrong, and it was scold, scold about that: then Mary (the sister) got it: she had taken something from her room: then she
said the house was horribly stuffy and wanted to open a window on our backs. And at last, when we were laughing and
having a little fun, she said, I really think, mother the children ought not to be allowed to make such a noise that no one
else can speak; - and she had been talking herself all the while, one scold. This, told with a child’s ready mimicry, was a
revelation: and how little did the smiling girl we met the next day realize that the small critic of whose presence she had
hardly been aware, had taken in every detail of her ill-tempered home manner.

If I could only have realized at the time that I should want to write about individuals and occurrences connected with the
eventful years of 1860, 1867, what material could have been collected! For we lived in simple fashion and there was no
governess to keep us in the schoolroom away from our elders, and in my father’s library I had always a welcome corner
“if I kept quiet.” There I spent much of my time, and consequently many memories of distinguished men come to me faint
and confused, from the far distance. Certain events and person, however, I can remember distinctly, and as I try to think
of all these things it seems like a scene on a stage from which certain throngs of moving figures from which certain forms
detach themselves, come forward, seen quite clear and distinct for a few minutes -- and are then lost in the throng
again. The first political event I can remember was the mistaken, fanatical, but heroic and self-immolating attempt of
John Brown to free the slaves of Virginia. It was like a thunder clap to the people of America, and I well recollect the wild
excitement, which pervaded the country, wrought up as it, was about the great and vital question of the day. Many
eloquent speeches had been made and much had been written about the enfranchisement of the human race: Uncle
Toms Cabins”, especially had aroused the most intense excitement. Ohio’s a border State, was naturally the scene of
many thrilling adventures of fugitives slaves and it was not uncommon for free colored people to be kidnapped, carried
over the river and sold into slavery. On the sideboard in our dinning room stood a pitcher, which had been given to Mr.
Chase by the colored people of Cincinnati for defending just such case in the early years of his law practice. It must
have required not a little moral bravery to have undertaken the defense of the poor kidnapped man in those days when
slave power was rampant, and when to own oneself a sympathizer with the race meant social ostracism and actual
professional loss. But the young lawyer had the courage of his convictions, and in spite of the carnet advise of his
friends, in spite of remonstrance’s on the subject from men as Daniel Webster and Henry Clay -- who had both taken a
liking for the young lawyer when he acted as Mr. Wirt’s private secretary -- and, last but not least, notwithstanding his
own strong social and professions ambitions, he took up the cause of the oppressed which at that time no other lawyer
of standing would assume, and he saved the poor wretch from his captors. The pitcher bore this inscription:

“A testimonial of Gratitude from the Colored People of Cincinnati to Salmon P, Chase for his various public services in
behalf of the oppressed. And particularly for his eloquent advocacy if the rights of man in the case of Samuel Watson,
who was unjustly clamed as a fugitive slave, February 12, 1845.”

From the day on which he received it until the day of his death this pitcher furnished Mr. Chase with his only beverage -
cold, clear water. What makes or mares a man’s destiny is a very curious thing. In this instance that which was supposed
would prove his insuperable stumbling block to the successful career of a young and clever lawyer was really the corner
stone of his future fame and influence, proving again that the old proverb “
Fais ce que tu des advienne que. porgy,” not
infrequently leads worldly success. It was a curious and interesting coincident that the famous old Bishop Chase of
blessed memory, who was my father’s uncle and second father should have also owed his success in things temporal to
an act of self-sacrifice for a Negro. The story recently came to my knowledge in a very interesting way. In one of New
York prettiest suburbs there is now living an old gentlemen of ninety-five who, when he was a young man, attended a
lecture given by Bishop Chase - a lecture which so impressed him by its direct and simple relation of the struggles an
successes of that most remarkable man in building his church and college that on his return home he wrote out the
entire account from memory. This paper, yellow with age tells how the gallant preacher and Pointe started a little church
in Louisiana, where overpowered with a sick wife and numerous parochial duties finally concluded to buy a Negro. The
$300 paid for the slave consumed nearly all his resources and the man not with standing his kindly treatment run away a
few weeks. The Bishop gave up his parish after and returned to the North. Subsequently his troubles were many, and
one year when his need was at the sorest a letter came to him from Louisiana to say that this man Jack had been
caught and could be had for about the same sum he originally cost. Notwithstanding his great want of funds, Bishop
Chase could not make up his mind to receive the proceeds from the sale of a man, and he gave Jack his freedom.
Several years after this he was in England. Unsuccessful in his efforts to obtain an endowment fund for his Episcopal
college, and received with scant courtesy, he was about to relinquish his plans and return home, when a friend in
America, writing of him to a well-known noblemen, mentioned the history of the freed slave. The better classes of
England at that time were intensely anti-slavery, and this incident opened both their hearts and purses to the Bishop
and his project. From that time until the day of his death, they numbered among his firmest friends and stanches
supporters, the very people who had at first received him with coldness and distrust.

In my childish days there were current, many wild stories of the mysterious Underground Railroad, which the children
believed to be a bona fide subterranean passage under the State of Ohio wherein escaped slaves took passage for
Canada. Later we discovered that it was simply a well-concocted system of countersigns and passwords, by which
fugitives were passed from one kindly friend to others, and by them hidden and assisted until the free English border
was reached. As the State of Ohio had about that time scored a Republican victory and Governor Chase, was a well
known anti-slavery man, there was a great excitement in Virginia as to whether a rescue of John Brown would not be
attempted from neighboring State, and perhaps it was natural enough that Governor Wise, knowing that the sympathies
of both Ohio and its Governor were for the colored race, should feel alarmed: but as the chief magistrate of a great
State Mr. Chase could be severe enough. To the frightened telegram of the Virginian, he sent answers as became the
representative of law and order, while as the individual he sorrowed for the mistaken grand old man who stood single-
handed against such careful odds. But it was impossible for a household accustomed to revere as friends of our family
such men as Summer, Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Whittler and Longfellow, for children who read Dr. Bailey’s “National
Era” every week and had cried over “Uncle Tom’s cruel suffering, not to feel jealous partisanship for the truly good old
man who was about to die for others. The Governor’s library was connected with the rest of the house in pretty
straggling fashion by a little conservatory, where the children, half mischievously and half through real feeling,
constructed a little fort and raised a flag on which was painted rally and defiantly, “Freedom forever; slavery never.”
“See here Chase,” called back one of my father’s friend, as he was coming through the conservatory, “what little rebels
have you got here? This will never do.”

The Governor came to the door and after standing there a minute, turned around and went back into his study; but in
the evening he called us to him and explained very carefully how poor old John Brown had attempted to do, how
National Law was scared and must be obeyed, and the right thinking men and women of the country must work by
peaceful means for the liberation of the slaves - by the growth of the Republican party and right legislation. How little he
dreamed that the emancipation was near and would receive such bloody baptism, and that only two years later the blue
uniformed soldiers of the Republic would tramp down Pennsylvania Ave.; regiment after regiment, singing almighty
chorus:

"John Brown’s body lies moldering in the grave
But his soul is marching on"


After that time came days full of excitement, for crisis was imminent. The air was filled with rumors of coming trouble and
many men whose names afterwards became historic passed through the little conservatory to the library beyond.
Garfield who then was in the State Legislature was a very frequent visitor. He was ruddy and Saxon looking in those
days, like the German heroes in the Nibelunge, “folk’s sage,” and full of keen and live interest with everything connected
with both politics and literature - which is by the way, not as unusual a condition as it would seem. He had a great liking
for children and often stopped to talk with us in the conservatory, which was our constant winter playground, and one
afternoon he assisted with much amusement at a physiological research, which consisted of the disinterment of several
dead canaries’ la order that their skeletons remains be presented to a museum, in the nursery. But he and the
Governor Chase had taken up the study of the German language very zealously that winter, and as father was out of
office for the first time in many years, his progress was the most rapid. He and Mr. Garfield compared notes, and it
seemed very natural a couple years afterwards, when we were all domiciled in Washington, that Mr. Garfield should
come in at breakfast time with his German book. “Can you read this Mr. Secretary?” he said to my father throwing him a
little slip of paper. Sec. Chase carefully translated the few lines, which was written in German text and ran as follows:
Gieb treulieh mir hande

Sc Bruder mir und wete

Dein Blick vor deinem Ende

Nicht wieder weg von mir.


And then he tossed them over to me, across the table. “Keep that child,” he said laughingly. It may be valuable some
day when Garfield famous” For he had a great liking, and admiration for Mr. Garfield, which was fully reciprocated, and
the two men were fast friends. Mr. Garfield laughed, too and I should have entirely forgotten the tiny slip had I not found
it years after, when the slow death agony had passed and our brave and patient President was famous indeed for all
times.

Governor Chase was ever and earnest student and even his busies days found time for literary reading. He was
particularly found of studying the Bible in different languages, he always kept French, German, and Greek parchments,
which he used constantly, as well as the English. He particularly recommended this way of reading the Scriptures as
being most impressive, and he frequently regretted that he knew nothing of Hebrew to help him to a fuller understanding
of the grandest of books. His taste for literature was of the keenest, and no political triumph ever gave him greater
satisfaction than to see his name and one or two selected poems published in the “Poets and Poetry of the West” he
showed a naïf pride in the book and his place among the poets. He was ever ready, too appreciate genus in others, and
among the famous faces of the Ohio men of that time who have since become famous was a student to whom Mr. Chase
always predicted a brilliant future. This was William Dean Howell, who with his fellow poet and dearest friend John Piatt
had published a little book of verse entitled “The Poems of two Friends.” The book delighted my father and he read
most of the little lyrics to us for he read very well and likes to have us listen to different bits that impressed him during
the reading.

Carl Schurz too was a figure about that time greatly struck my childish fancy. His rapid talking and foreign gesticulation,
and more wonderful than all for our friends were not musical, the way the way he would sit at the piano and strike great
thunderous chords, and then run off into the softest of arias, all seemed most fascinating and quite different from any
one else. But next to my father, the idol of our nursery was Mr. Summer. We were never weary of hearing how he stood
up in the United States Senate, handsome, brave and eloquent, defending the cause of the oppressed and how felled
by Brook’s cruel blow, he traveled in Europe to regain his health, and was received everywhere with the consideration
and esteem which he so well deserved. Here was a hero indeed for a child! And I well recollect my first introduction to my
ideal, and his pleased look and great hearty laugh, when Mr. Chase to my consternation, told him of my devotion, and
how his picture adorned my room.

I wish I could remember more of that time the year of 59-60 must have been so full of vital interest, and children
remember such unimportant things. A look, a sentence, some individual trait, will remain isolated and distinct and their
memories when great and important happenings grow clearer, but at this time almost every recollection seems
fragmentary and with out sequence and I can only give them as they exist.”
Janet Chase Hoyt.

During Katherine’s reign of Mr. Chase’s mansion in Columbus, Ohio, the two girls continued with their education. During
their free time, Katherine and Janet attended political rallies where Janet experienced her sister’s outspokenness. As
shy as Janet happened to be, Katherine was just the opposite. However, the two of them did take the time to investigate
the legal system within their state and brought many injustices to their father’s attention. Of course, the two girls never
approached their father until they collect all the necessary information pertaining to the innocents of the men, which the
legal system had failed.

Janet’s shyness kept her from the attention of most visitors to the Gov. Mansion; Kate on the other hand was her father’
s Hostess and became acquainted with the notable minds of the time. While Janet avoided most of Mr. Chase’s visitors,
Kate was honing her skills as a conservationist when it came to the prominent subjects of the time. The two Chase girls
knew most of the prominent men, but it was Kate attractiveness and her ability to converse with them freely, which
impressed most of them favorably.

Katherine became enraptured with politics of the day and the power, which went hand in hand with its authority. Kate as
her father developed the ambition these days to become first in whatever she attempted to do. It would be this very
ambition, which in the end would become her greatest fault. Kate as her father possessed a temper and little or no
tolerance for less than perfection. Janet did not possess any of these so-called virtues and felt perfect happy simply
accepting her father’s love, attention, and being satisfied with being herself.

During the four years, the two Chase girls were living in the Governor’s Mansion rumors began floating around the
community about Kate and some did not place her in a favorable light. Mr. Chase and Kate both attributed the rumors to
normal jealousy brought about by other young social light that envied Mr. Chase’s daughter Kate.Kate and Nettie, as Mr.
Chase called Janet, also became excited about the possibility of Mr. Chase becoming the political nominee for the newly
formed Republican Party. This never transpired and both Mr. Chase and his daughter Kate were disappointed
tremendously, but kept the faith and Mr. Chase became the newly appointed Senator from Ohio State.

In time President elect, Mr. Lincoln offered Mr. Chase the Office of Treasury of the United States, because of his
experience in the banking business when he represented the banks as their attorney. Mr. Chase was somewhat hesitant
about accepting the position, but Kate informed her father the 1864 election was only four years away and it could
possibly take them that long to organize their campaign.

When the Chase family arrived in Washington City, the city was nothing as you see it today. The streets were dirt, they
were filthy and the horses dropping were in abundance. The waterways were little more then open sewerage. The town
was full of office seekers and men of small character along with the women who accompanied them.

The Chase resided in hotels and various friends’ homes until Mr. Chase finally rented a home on the corner of E. and
Sixth Street for the sum of $100.00 per month. This residence many individuals would declare as Mr. Chase’s White
House, where lavish parties would take place. Once again, Janet would be in the background, while Kate would be her
father’s pleasing entertainer of very prominent men. Many important events took place within this household, which
Janet always remembered. She remembers all the beau and friends who called upon her sister. Mr. Hay was one man
who often walked with the two girls as they took a stroll around town. Mr. Garfield, a friend of Mr. Chase, who went back
to the days of his governorship in Ohio also took the girls for buggy rides.

The battle of Bull Run reverberated throughout the Chase Mansion, but the actual sight of the wounded returning to
Washington City made its imprint upon their mind. Kate allowed some of the not too seriously wounded into her home,
so she and Janet could assist them in their humble way. The year 1861 did not fair well for the Union and President
Lincoln decided to change the direction of the war. It was this fact that Janet Chase Hoyt remembered in February of
1893 when she wrote:

In the
New York Tribune of Feb. 22, 1893, appeared an article on “How the Emancipation Proclamation was made,
“written by Mrs. Janet Chase Hoyt, daughter of Salmon P. Chase. In this article, Mrs. Hoyt gives the following extract from
a letter to her father in 1867:

“Looking over old papers, I found many of my memoranda, etc. of the war, and among them my draft of a proclamation
of emancipation Submitted to Mr. Lincoln the day before his own’ was issued. He asked all of us for suggestions in
regard to its form and I submitted mine in writing, and among other sentences the close as it now stands, which he
adopted from the draft in modification. It may be interesting to you to see precisely what I said, and I copy it. You must
remember that in the original draft there was no reference whatever to divine or human sanction of the act. What I said
was this at the conclusion of my letter: ‘Finally, I respectfully suggest than on an occasion of such interest there can be
no imputation of affection against a solemn recognition of responsibility before men and before God, and that some
such close at this will be proper: “And Upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice warranted by the
Constitution (and of duty demanded by the circumstances of the country), I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind
and the gracious favor of Almighty God. “Mr. Lincoln invoked the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious
favor of Almighty God. “Mr. Lincoln adopted this close, substituting only for the words in parentheses these words: ‘upon
military necessity, “which I think was not an improvement.”

Janet knew of Kate’s many beaus, in fact the line never seemed to cease. In early 1862, Janet observed Gov. Sprague
of Rhode Island once again taking and active interest in her beloved sister Kate. Janet always found the Governor to be
a man of extreme generosity, both in manners as well as in pecuniary ways. Janet pictured Governor Sprague as a man
who possessed the desire to find love and approval by his fellows. However, Janet was an innocent child who knew
nothing of his many hidden agendas or of his many, many bad habits such as drinking in excess, smoking, chewing, and
womanizing.

At this time, Janet was attending school in New York City. Whenever Janet returned to school Kate would travel with
Janet to New York much to Mr. Chase dissatisfaction, because Janet always returned late due to the fact Kate and her
shopped while the two girls were on their little junket. This displeased Mr. Chase, because to him nothing was more
important than the education of his two daughters.

During Janet’s weekend stays at home in Washington, she often to part in wedding of relation and close friends of the
family. These sorts of activities always seemed to please Mr. Chase when his two daughters were in the forefront of
Washington’s Society. Many friends asked Mr. Chase if he ever regretted not having a son, which he promptly answered
no.

When Kate married Gov. Sprague, she did so after Gov. Sprague had purchased Mr. Chase‘s rented home, because he
did not wish to reside under the roof of another man‘s home. This must have been one of his many strange ways, which
both girls would learn about in time.

The marriage of Kate Chase to Governor William Sprague took place on November 12, 1863 at eight-thirty o’clock at
night. The wedding was the highlight of Washington’s Society. President Lincoln, his cabinet and untold prominent men
attended what turned out to be the social highlight of 1863.

Janet pictured the marriage to be a happy one, since there was nothing, which her sister lacked materially. It seemed to
the two girls the days of conservatism as far as pecuniary matters were concerned have now abated.
William Sprague and Katherine Chase mutually possessed one common fault, both possessed a hair trigger temper,
which nether hesitated to display. Ambition was one attribute, which William seemed to lack, but Katherine possessed
more than enough for the two of them. Kate strove for perfection, while William could become depressed and care little
about anything including himself. When William had these frequents moments of depression, Kate thought of Mr. Hay’s
description of William. He is much to do about nothing, everything he has his family fortune purchased for him. If this
should be true, the last thing Kate wanted was for her to become one of his purchased possessions.
In the summer of 1864, Mr. Chase resigned his office of Treasury of the United States over a dispute with Mr. Lincoln
over patronage concerning politics of the operation of the Port of New York City. Much to Mr. Chase’s surprise, the
president accepted his resignation and Mr. Chase found himself without employment. Immediately, Kate invited her
father to spend the summer at her Rhode Island summer residence located on a three hundred acre farm, which is
located close to Narragansett Pier.

It was in the fall of 1864 when Mrs. Sprague realizes William has impregnated her with her first child. In the fall of 1864
the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Roger B. Taney died leaving the position open for President Lincoln to
appoint a new Chief Justice. Mr. Chase may have looked forward to accepting this position, but not his daughter Kate,
since she considered the appointed as putting her father on the shelf and out of the run of becoming President of The
United States.

Mr. Chase most gladly accepted President Lincoln’s most generous offer regardless of Kate’s opinion of him accepting
it. It was in December 1864 a pregnant Katherine Sprague along with her husband and her sister Janet watching
Katherine’s beloved father taking the oath and the responsibilities, which encompassed the position.

In June of 1865, Katherine birthed her first child, a son, William Sprague, Jr., while her father and sister Janet toured the
southern states, so her father could ascertain the feasibility of reinstating the Judicial System in the South again. Mr.
Chase feared for the welfare of his daughter Kate, however, the birthing of the child was uneventful as far as having any
problems were concerned. During his entire trip Mr. Chase continued to inform Kate of their activities,

Beaufort Harbor N. C. May 5, 1865
My dear Kate,
I closed my last letter with the close of my interview with the Beaufort gentlemen who called on me, just before we started
for Newbern. Capt West had been kind enough to arrange for our trip on the Railroad, & send a tug to take us
Morehead City - a place in an anticipatory sort of way as the City exist as yet only on paper. A few houses had been
built there before the war & people resorted to it as a watering place in some numbers. It was also the terminus of the
Railroad & the natural commercial point for the surrounding country, as there only was the water deep enough to allow
vessels of considerable size to come up to the wharves.

But I don’t mean to write Geography. We found a car waiting us & soon were on our way. It was very poor third class car,
with only two or three whole panes of glass in its windows - but it was the best that could be furnished & we were
content. The seats were bare boards no not exactly bare for they were covered with canvass so near in color & feel to
boards that I actually did not know that the covering was there. “I thought her old gloves were on but twas her hands.”
Just change this thus:” I thought I saw her hands but twas her gloves” & you get the idea. But if our car was poor the
engine was good; our speed satisfactory; the road in fair condition; our company in good spirits; the air delightful; the
day bright, and “all went merry as a marriage bell. We reached Newbern about four in the afternoon & found Gen.
Palmer at the Depot - with Col. Heaton & Commissioner French, & several other gentlemen waiting our arrival. The
General insisted on our accompanying him to his quarters on the banks of the Neuse - us now meaning my self & Nettie
to whom add Dr. Fuller. Mr. Mellens, father & son, went with Mr. Heaton & Mr. Reid & Mr. Lowell to the Hotel. After
washing off the dust a little Nettie & I rode with the General to look at the Fortifications, and the Freedmen’s Village. The
former are very interesting & I should think very strong. Most of the works are on the West Bank of the Neuse; but there
are some forts, one, which is, called after me Fort Chase on the East bank. The most striking feature in the defense is a
rampart or earthen wall extending completely across the Peninsula formed by the Trent & the Neuse in the angle of
which Newbern is situated - a very strong work making the town unassailable except by a very superior force. To these
fortifications we have been twice or thrice indebted for the safety of Newbern against rebel attack. But the Freedmen’s
village is more remarkable than the Fortifications. It is a very large collection of small rude huts with little enclosures
surrounding small patches of ground. These are arranged in perfect order, with wide streets running through them. You
might fancy it a city in Africa: only there was nothing like a public building. In these houses are congregated the blacks
who have fled from their old masters, to the number of several thousand. I did not learn the exact number. All the able
bodied are just now in Government employment. They built their huts themselves & in all respects sustained themselves,
with comparatively insignificant aid. Many of them, I was told have accumulated small sums & if land was for sale at
cheap rates could buy & would be glad to buy small farms & go to work as farmers. These will probably get on pretty
well; but there are many who only live from hand to mouth & these will be in great trouble when the government
discharges them, as it soon must.

The poor white refugees seem in a condition even worse than that of the blacks.

So far last night - this morning, Saturday the 6th after an excursion first to the ancient town of Beaufort and then to the
Revenue Cutter ported here - I resume.

After our drive we returned to Gen. Palmers where we took tea. He lives in a house, which at the beginning of he war
must have been the delightful residence of some well to do southerner. I heard the name but have forgotten it. Its front
is on the Neuse, a broad beautiful stream, formerly dotted with the sails of a peaceful commerce, now thickly studded
with vessels of war & their auxiliaries. On two sides there are fruit trees in full verdure & bearing & in the rear the
servants quarters & kitchen. Every thing denoted substantial comfort, without luxury or great wealth. Col. Heaton, do you
remember as Senator from Butler County during my first term as Governor” had invited me to his house after tea &
therefore after tea we went - meaning this time Gen. Palmer, myself, & Mr. Lowell who seemed to go along simply to see
that no harm came to me for he left at Mr. H’s door. Here I met Mr. French - you remember his description of you and the
convict to whom you carried a pardon - and several other officers of the civil service. There were only two North
Carolinians in the Room, one a rebel Colonel in rebel uniform on parole & the other an original Union man. The Colonel
was now on terms; & when asked what terms replied “Such terms as are satisfactory to my State. “But he was by no
means over confident. The “fight” is pretty thoroughly out of all the rebels, and the spirit can only be revived by gross
injustice or very ungenerous treatment.

Nettie & I & Dr, Fuller slept at Gen. Palmers; and I slept well. The next morning, yesterday May 5, was one of the most
beautiful I ever saw. The air was balm; countless birds were singing; the skies were bright. Nothing could exceed the
charm. Then came a delightful breakfast and at 8 we were off for Beaufort again, Gen. P - going down with us to see
General Sherman just up from Savannah. He had sent me word that he would be glad to see me & as we found his
steamer lying at the Morehead City wharf we went directly on board. He was very hearty (in his) welcome & as frank &
manly as possible. He feels very deeply wounded by the treatment he received. He says he never received a word of
advice or instructions form any body as to the course to be pursued & that the order to Grant of March 2d forbidding all
negotiations about civil matters was never communicated to him. All he knew was what Mr. Lincoln did at Richmond and
that he said to himself when asked as to his wishes concerning Jeff. Davis that he could get out of the country
“unbeknownst to him” he would not be sorry. Of course he thought he was pursuing the General line of policy approved
by the President & was governed in what he did by a simple wish to prevent the dispersion of Johnson’s army into
guerilla bands & to secure the earliest possible restoration of state organization & national authority. Our conversation
was very interesting, though brief. He brought me and my party to the
Wayanda in his tug and left us.

We hoped to get off immediately, but a strong gale from the southwest had sprung up & the Captain said it was simply
useless to go out, for we should simply beat about without making any progress to the great discomfort of all on board.
With this opinion it was idle to contend & we made up our minds to the situation hoping that the wind would go down
before night. I spent the day writing the letter I have already sent you & in other writings & in reading. In the afternoon
upon Capt. West’s invitation I went ashore & attempted a ride along the beach in his ambulance. It was a laughable
apology fro a ride. The wind was very high & the tide was nearly full & coming in & the surf rolled in heavily, reducing the
beach to the least possible strip, and often making it necessary to leave it & push through the sand. Most of our party
left the wagon almost at starting & undertook to walk & pretty soon I did the same leaving only Nettie & Mrs. West with
Capt. W. who drove. Dr. Fuller & I walked some distance along the beach & then back. The surf was magnificent. I have
never seen any thing like it, or rather any thing equal to it.

As we returned we stopped at Mrs. West’s cottage we met General Sherman again, just returned from a walk to Fort
Macon. There a little more chat & then back to the Wayanda & then after writing the first part of this letter to bed. Thus
ended the 5th of May, our fifth day out. We are still weather bound.

This morning we expected surly to be on our way: but when I appeared on deck about light I was greeted with the same
strong head wind - useless to go our. And so we still here - nit being now near ten at night. I have devoted the greatest
part of the day to visit to the town of Beaufort & to talk with some of it’s leading citizens: and among them with the two
who visited me yesterday. I found one gentleman, a Col. Taylor, who readily assented to the proposition that the best
security of White Unionist would be found in the suffrages of colored unionist. No other was so ready: but I am told that
the little town is talking over the matter quite vigorously.

This evening we had a visit from several gentlemen & ladies who brought us a basket of strawberries sent us by a
Beaufort gentleman. But here I am.” good night.
Most affectionately
S. P. Chase

I* * *

Nettie Chase Ralston lived till 1925.
Lincoln and Chase
Mural Painting by N.C. Wyeth
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Bishop Philander Chase
Salmon Portland Chase
Kate Chase
President James A Garfield at 16
Carl Schurz
Governor Sprague and his wife Kate
Chase Suite U. S. Treasury
William Wirt
U. S. Attorney General
Like us on
Facebook
Return to the Port Royal Experiment
Custom Search