The Salmon P. Chase Papers - Vol. 3

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for definite propositions from Republicans till Republicans have been
charged with the responsibility of administration.Abortive attempts at compromise only irritate--a successful attempt
involves the destruction of the Republican Party. But I do believe that
when we are in power we can offer propositions perfectly harmonized
with our principles & more satisfactory to the moderate men of the
South than any compromise which I have seen proposed.Do you think me over sanguine? Perhaps I am. Give my very best
respects and my kindest remembrances to Mrs P---- to whom I mean to take time for writing very soon.3Ever cordially your friend
S P CHASE J. S. Pike Esq
1. In March, the Senate confirmed Pike as U.S. minister to The Hague. Pike's letter of January 2 lamented rumored appointments of Simon Cameron and William H. Seward to Lincoln's cabinet and encouraged Chase to consider a similar offer. "The hand of corruption must be extinguished," Pike wrote, "by the superior blaze of honesty, if possible." DAB, 14:596; Pike to Chase, Jan. 4, 1861 ( Chase Papers, Hist. Soc. of Pa.).
2. Charles A. Dana. For Chase's communication with George Opdyke see his letter of Jan. 9, 1861 (above).
3. Elizabeth Ellicott Pike.


Autograph letter. Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (micro 14:0376).


Columbus, Jany 11, 1861

My dear Sir,

Remembering your regret that your friends had not informed you
more frankly & fully in relation to one gentleman,1 and desiring ex-
ceedingly the success of your administration, I have made up my mind,
with a good deal of reluctance to say a word to you in regard to another

The name of Mr. Smith, of Indiana, is quite frequently mentioned as
one of those from among whom you may select your administrative advisers. Mr. Smith is an excellent public Speaker and a zealous Re-
publican & would fill, as he has filled, very creditably a seat in Con-
gress. I have no other feelings towards him personally, than those of
kindness and good will. But it is due to you to say that his reputation
has been so seriously affected by his railroad & other transactions that
his appointment to a place in your Cabinet would impair the credit &
endanger the success of your administration.2

Your nomination over Mr. Seward was due in great part, as you are
well aware, to the belief that you would give the country a pure financial
administration, whereas serious apprehension was felt of a different


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The Salmon P. Chase Papers - Vol. 3
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