I am just back from a few days of research at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, Illinois. My main purpose in going was to look at newspapers from Illinois from October 1854 and October 1858. In both of those months, Chase campaigned for Republicans in Illinois. 1854 was the anti-Nebraska election, when the…

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As I write the Chase biography, I continue research, and interesting details emerge. I am working today on the chapter about 1856. I knew that Chase had dinner with Francis Blair and others in Washington on December 29, 1855, and I knew that Chase gave his inaugural address as governor in Columbus on January 14,…

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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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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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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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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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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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Next week I will be giving three speeches about three different men on three successive days. On Wednesday evening I will be at the Smiley Library in Redlands, California, to talk about William Henry Seward. I spoke with this group a few months back about Stanton, for some reason I never spoke with them about…

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As I research the Chase book I come across items I wish I had seen for the Seward or Stanton books. For example, today I was reading a March 1847 letter from Salmon Chase to Lewis Tappan, one of the Liberty Party leaders in New York. Chase was commenting on the decision of the Supreme…

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One of Salmon Chase’s best friends was Charles Sumner, the antislavery leader from Massachusetts. They first met in the 1840s, mainly through the mail, and they served together in the United States Senate in the 1850s, when they were among the most ardent opponents of the Fugitive Slave Law and the Kansas-Nebraska Act. During the…

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