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 Salmon Portland Chase

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Salmon Portland Chase

  • Birth 13 Jan 1808 Cornish City, Sullivan County, New Hampshire, USA
  • Death 7 May 1873 New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
  • Burial Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA
  • Plot Reno Hill, Lot 687 (Unmarked)
  • Memorial ID 46254453

US Senator, Ohio Governor, Presidential Cabinet Secretary. United States Chief Justice. Born in Cornish, New Hampshire, at the age of 9, his father died and he went to live with his uncle, Philander Chase, who was the Bishop of Ohio. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1826, then went to Washington D.C., where he studied law under William Wirt, who also at this time was United States attorney general. Wirt was also known to have participated in many of the most important Supreme Court cases of his day. After his studies, he was admitted to the bar in 1829, then moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he set up his law practice. He became involved with first the Liberty, then the Free Soil Party, both advocated the abolition of slavery. Radical abolitionist to some, moderate to others, he was elected as a Senator from Ohio to the United States Senate in 1848 backed by an independent Democrat/Free Soil coalition to oppose the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Then, writing an article for the New York Times, he at once laid out the bedrock gospel of the fledgling Republican Party, assuring his political rise. Elected governor of Ohio in 1855, he competed with several candidates, including Abraham Lincoln, for the 1860 Republican presidential nomination. After the race was won by Lincoln, Salmon Chase found himself, without a professional background in finance, Lincoln's Secretary of the Treasury. His tenure, marked by deadly warfare, ironically threw him in most often with Lincoln, who irritated him, and with Secretary of State William H. Seward, whom he distrusted. However, Lincoln valued his competence and the political savvy that enabled him to get financial measures passed. But while he held Lincoln's trust, for the president often preferred Chase's military opinions to those of his Army and Navy secretaries, and shared in the social prominence of his daughter, famous hostess Kate Chase Sprague, he was lured into another attempt at the presidency. A member of a faction increasingly resisting Lincoln's Reconstruction aims, he secretly consented in making a bid for the 1864 Republican nomination. In an anti-Lincoln letter circulated by Kansas Senator Samuel Pomeroy, dubbed the "Pomeroy Circular," he was touted as the man for president. Embarrassed when the letter was made public, the secretary offered his resignation. Lincoln refused the offer, but the damage was done. Though he campaigned for Lincoln, their relationship was ruined. When he offered his resignation again late in 1864, it was accepted. But Lincoln still valued him and in December appointed him Chief Justice of the United States. He was the first Chief Justice to preside over an impeachment trial of a President of the United States (that being Andrew Johnson in 1868 who was later acquitted). He later would become a Democrat and although he was mentioned from time to time for the presidency, in the early 1870s his health began to fail, which put a halt to this speech, meaning he never achieved his ultimate goal. He later would die of a paralytic stroke.

Bio by: Ugaalltheway


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: SLGMSD
  • Added: 2 Jan 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 46254453
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Salmon Portland Chase (13 Jan 1808–7 May 1873), Find A Grave Memorial no. 46254453, citing Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .