CHIEF JUSTICE SALMON P. CHASE - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 09/18/1869 - DOCUMENT 46909
SALMON P. CHASE. ALS: "S P Chase", 2p, 5x8. Washington,
1869 September 18. To W. Prescott
Smith, Esq. In full: "A week ago, coming from New York I & my
daughter took seats in your compartment car, & paid our two dollars with
much satisfaction. We left the train near Philadelphia, Mr Gatzman having kindly
ordered that it should be stopped, and we let off near [illegible]
Cooke's residence, with whom we spent some pleasant days. Today we took the
car at Philadelphia bound for Washington. At Baltimore the car we were in was
left and we went into the next, & finding no seat unoccupied, passed on to
the next, which happened to be the compartment car from New York, & finding
seats vacant, took them. The conductor acting as he said under your direction
(the same who took our two dollars last Saturday) required the extra payment
again. The money is nothing, but it seemed to me like carrying matters rather
far to require this payment from passengers obliged to leave the car in which
they were seated, & only availing themselves of vacant seats for the C.C.
fast train to Washington, all which was known to the conductor, as he himself
may so cite and only acting under his instructions. I think you should know the
circumstance. This note needs no answer."
Chase represented Ohio in the U.S. Senate as a Free-Soil Democrat from
1849-1855, when he was elected Governor of Ohio as a Free Soil Democrat in
1855. He was reelected as a Republican in 1857. Chase returned to the Senate
on March 4, 1861, but resigned two days later to become President Lincoln's
Secretary of the Treasury. During his term in the Treasury Department, Chase and
Lincoln frequently disagreed, and Chase regularly offered to resign. In
February 1864, a group of radical Republicans proposed Chase for President.
Chase did nothing to stop the movement. At the June 7-8, 1864 convention,
Lincoln was nominated on the first ballot. After another quarrel with the
President three weeks later, Chase once again submitted his resignation. To his
surprise, on June 30, 1864, Lincoln accepted it. In another surprise move,
President Lincoln appointed Chase Chief Justice on December 6, 1864. In
that position, which he occupied until his death in 1873, Chase was dedicated
to the rights of Black Americans and supported the Reconstruction Acts. In
1868, his impartial conduct of President Andrew Johnson's impeachment trial
angered his Radical Republican friends. Some Democrats suggested Chase as their
1868 presidential candidate, to no avail.
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CHIEF JUSTICE SALMON P. CHASE
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