After more than two decades as a lawyer, Walter Stahr started writing books about American leaders. His biographies of John Jay, William Henry Seward and Edwin Stanton have earned praise and awards, and he is now at work on Salmon Chase, antislavery activist, treasury secretary and chief justice.
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Last year I posted about Salmon Chase’s Memorial Day letter, from 1869, worth reading again this weekend. Chief Justice Chase was in South Carolina for circuit court duties, and he had been invited to attend an event at a cemetery just outside Charleston, South Carolina. Chase had to decline but explained his hopes as follows:…