The Salmon P. Chase Papers - Vol. 3

By John Niven; James P. McClure et al. | Go to book overview
that Mr. Weed has ever said there was. Drop him a line and ask him. That is the short way to the truth.2Yours cordially S: P: CHASE John Jay Esq
Jay, the son of Chase's friend, William Jay, was one of the earliest leaders in the New York Republican party. DAB, 10:10.
According to Chase's journal, Thurlow Weed called on him on September 15 and they discussed William H. Seward, possible coordination between Chase and Seward on the subject of slavery, the lack of cabinet participation in significant decisions, and Weed's satisfaction with internal revenue appointments in New York. Jay had written earlier in the month about rumors, supposedly originating with Weed, that Chase "avowed" himself a presidential candidate. Jay to Chase, Sept. 25, 1862 ( Chase Papers, L.C.); Chase Papers, 1:389.

TO WILLIAM P. MELLEN

Letter in clerk's hand on letterhead stationery, signed lay Chase. General Agent, Letters Received: Secretary of the Treasury, Records of Civil War Special Agencies of the Treasury Department (Record Group 366), National Archives (micro 23:0159).

Treasury Department. October 1, 1862.

Sir,

I have received your letter of the 26th ulto., wherein you state that Mr. Gallagher and yourself do not understand alike your duties in regard to "inquiring into the antecedents of Cotton offered for shipment at any port with which commerce is open," and ask for instructions from this Department on the subject.1

I concur generally in the opinion held by you, and approve your action.

All Cotton or other produce arriving under proper authority at ports open to commerce will be treated alike; and it is not competent for any officer of this Department to enquire into or decide upon the morals of any transaction connected with it previous to its shipment from any port within the limits of their official duties.

It is, of course, not within my wishes to countenance any evasion of the confiscation act; or within my power to exempt any property from its operation. It is only intended to caution the officers of the Department against unnecessary interruption of commerce and unnecessary interference with private business. To warrant any action against Cotton or other products as confiscated, there must be clear and satisfactory evidence of liability.

-288-

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