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SALMON P. CHASE. Manuscript LS: "S.P. Chase" as Chief Justice of the United States, 1p, 4¾x5¼. Washington, 1871 May 17. On graph-like paper. In full: "It is so very uncertain whether I shall be able to write anything before leaving the city that I prefer to return the check. You are right in your impression that I had not received your letter, when I previously enclosed it." 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. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney died on October 12, 1864. In another surprise move, President Lincoln appointed Chase Chief Justice on December 6, 1864. Unlike Taney, who had openly supported the South's positions in such decisions as Dred Scott, Chase was dedicated to the rights of Black Americans and supported the Reconstruction Acts. In 1868, his impartial conducting of President Andrew Johnson's impeachment trial angered his Radical Republican friends. Disowned by his own party, some Democrats suggested Chase as their 1868 presidential candidate, to no avail. Chief Justice Chase died in 1873. Lightly stained, not at signature. Nicked at blank left edge.

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Born: January 13, 1808 in Cornish, New Hampshire
Died: May 7, 1873 in New York City, New York

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