Salmon Chase Bank Lawyer

Many claim that, when he became secretary of the treasury, Chase did not know much about banks and banking. This is not true. From 1832 through 1843, Chase served as the solicitor in Cincinnati for the Second Bank of the United States. At the outset of this period, the Bank was the largest financial institution…

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Salmon Chase Liberty Man’s Creed

In a prior post I quoted from the Liberty Man’s Creed, first published by Chase in 1844. In this post I want to put up the whole document, because I find it so interesting, and because it has not been mentioned in prior biographies. Here it is, from the Cincinnati Weekly Herald and Philanthropist of…

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Chase on Adams, Jackson and Democracy

Anyone who has read any of my books knows that I believe in quoting the subject. If you want to know about William Henry Seward, the best sources are Seward’s letters and speeches and memoirs. One must also find material about Seward, of course, to provide third-party perspective. But in my view a biography should allow…

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Clarence Thompson 1900-1925

My grandmother, Dudley Casteel Thompson Stahr, 1902-1986, was married twice, first in 1922 to Clarence Thompson, 1900-1925, and then in 1930 to my grandfather, Roland Stahr, 1901-1969. I knew vaguely that my grandmother had been “married before her marriage” but did not know much about Clarence Thompson until the past few days. My father and…

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George Edwin Rogers 1872 to 1959

My family is donating its family papers to Chapman University. These are not just papers of my mother, my father and myself. They are papers of my grandparents: Burgess Dempster, Nell McBroom Dempster, Roland Stahr, and Dudley Casteel Stahr. And they are in some cases papers of my great-grandparents, including my namesake Walter Casteel and…

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Chase on Democracy

From time to time, in the course of my research, I find something that Chase wrote that no prior scholar has found. often these are rather routine letters, but sometimes they are really interesting and important. Today, thanks to my researcher at Brown University, Molly McCarthy, I found such a source: a Fourth of July…

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Haleakela

  For years my brother and I had talked about the possibility of cycling in Maui, where one can cycle from sea level to more than 10,000 feet in less than 40 miles. At some point in 2014, we said “you know, if we are ever going to do that, we should perhaps get going.”…

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Antislavery and Homelessness

Last night I heard Kathy Izard speak about her book, The Hundred Story Home, and her quest to end homelessness. The book, in a sense, starts with another book, Same Kind of Different as Me, by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. That book describes how Ron Hall befriended Denver Moore, took him into his home,…

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Chase and the Press

My friend Harold Holzer has written a great book, Lincoln and the Press. I could write a book about Chase and the press, starting with how as a young boy he found and read a set of old Federalist newspapers, to teach himself politics. When Chase first arrived in Cincinnati, as a young lawyer, he…

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Mea Culpa

A few years ago, in my Seward book, I wrote the following about the presidential campaign of 1860: “Some Republican leaders, such as Edward Bates of Missouri, refused to give speeches at all; others such as Salmon Chase of Ohio gave one or two speeches; but Seward traveled thousands of miles and gave dozens of…

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