Letterpress copy of autograph letter. Chase Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania.1
Washington, Feb. 17, 1862.1
My dear Sir,
I have just heard the glorious news from Fort Donelson.2The underpinning of the rebellion seems to be knocked out from under it-- thanks to Divine Providence in the first place & next to the urgency of the President seconded by the genius of Halleck & the skill and courage of the generals & soldiers in the field. Lander too has done gloriously on the upper Potomac.3 He is a man of the noblest temper and of equal genius. These blows, with the splendid triumphs under Burnside & Goldsborough will go far towards finishing the rebellion.4 But the finish must be given yet.
Several friends have written me on the subject of the United States Senatorship desiring me to be the successor of Wade.5 I have no wish to be so. I came into the Treasury Department against my own consent; but now I am in I do not desire even to seem to shrink from its responsibilities / I have entire faith in our ability to crush out the rebellion & entire confidence, if I can get my views of Finance into laws, that we shall save the cost of the war in our secured & improved currency.
But I do not regard the Senator question with indifference. I am really anxious to have the support of at least one personal friend from Ohio. Wade is not: though I must do him the justice to say that he is bold, faithful, and able, and I should prefer his election infinitely to that of any man not so faithful able & bold as himself. We must have men now of ideas & energies.
Of such men are Hoadly, Key & Judge Spalding.6 Under all circumstances, as I see them, I think neither Judge Key nor Judge Hoadly likely to be taken up with probability of success. Why not then take Judge S-----? He is a man of great energy & ability and of irreproachable character. Some years since it is true he was addicted to occasional [sprees]--but this is all reformed, thoroughly and completely [&] for years. The only objection that can possibly be made to him is that he is too radical. But he is no more radical than myself, or, now, Key. In fact, in public bodies, he has always shown himself singularly wise & discreet. Why not then give him a good setting forth in the Commercial? I am told there are many on both sides whose nominal & perhaps real first choice is some other general who will gladly or cheerfully support him; while his positive original strength is quite as respectable as that of several other prominent men. How would it do for