The Salmon P. Chase Papers - Vol. 3

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found interest in the solution of the question which becomes daily more imminent. I have said nothing to him of the suggestion I make to you. I do not know that he would accept such a position. But I know that he ought to and I am sure that the country would soon recognize and appreciate his wisdom.3

I beg you to pardon this intrusion,--but to bear its subject in mind,--and to believe me

faithfully Your friend & Servant

As signed into law on August 6, 1861, and discussed in a letter from Joshua F. Speed, September 2, 1861 (above).Statutes at Large, 12:319.
Olmsted ( 1822- 1903), a landscape architect and author, had gained notoriety for his books, A Journey in the Slave Seaboard States . . . ( New York, 1856), A Journey Through Texas . . . ( New York, 1857), A Journey in the Back Country ( New York, 1860), and The Cotton Kingdom: A Traveller's Observations on Cotton Slavery, . . . ( New York, 1861). In 1857, (Olm­ sted became superintendent of New York's Central Park. He had, since the beginning of the war, directed the U.S. Sanitary Commission. :24-28.
Sometime during the next two months Chase asked Olmsted to succeed Edward L. Pierce at Port Royal, but Olmsted turned down the offer. Chase to Olmsted, Mar. 13, 1862 ( Olmsted Papers, L.C.); Olmsted to Chase, Mar. 15, 1862, in Charles Capen McLaughlin et al., eds., The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted ( Baltimore, 1977-), 4:288-90.


Letter in clerk's hand on letterhead stationery, signed by Chase. Committee on Ways and Means, Papers on the Treasury Department, 37th Congress, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives (Record Group 233), National Archives (micro 19:0580).

Treasury Department.
Febru. 25th., 1862


Notwithstanding all possible exertions on my part, to provide means of satisfying the just demands of public creditors, and notwithstanding actual payments, averaging nearly a Million and a-half of Dollars each day, the arrearages have largely accumulated, and the accumulation has caused great inconvenience, and, in some instances, serious trouble and distress.

Those creditors, especially, who have furnished supplies and and transportation, urgently require payment, and ought to have it. The delay affects, not themselves only, but, through manifold ramifications, large numbers of others, not to say whole communities.

The amount of unsatisfied Requisitions from the several Departments is $26.430.557.83; of which $21.281.653.69 is from the Department of War. The amount of Floating-debt, chiefly existing in the War Department, probably exceeds $45.000.000.

It is impossible to borrow advantageously, until financial measures necessary to insure prompt payment of interest from taxes, and to


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The Salmon P. Chase Papers - Vol. 3
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