The Salmon P. Chase Papers - Vol. 3

By John Niven; James P. McClure et al. | Go to book overview
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1. The meeting took place at New York's Cooper Institute on October 13 Scott's letter, written as war loomed, had suggested four options for the new administration: to adopt the Crittenden compromise, to form a blockade, to allow secession, or to invade the Southern states. "No doubt this might be done in two or three years by a young and able General, . . ." Scott wrote of the last alternative. But "the destruction of life and property on the other side, would be frightful, however perfect the moral discipline of the invaders." New York Times, Oct. 14, 1862.
2. Scott complied with Chase's wishes in a lengthy letter published in the Daily National Intelligencer on October 21. "I shall extremely regret if the recent publication . . . dated March 3, 1861, shall, in any degree prejudice the Union," Scott privately wrote on October 23, "--having held, from the commencement of the rebellion that the south had taken up arms, not only without sufficient cause, but without color of right or justice." For more on this subject see also Hiram Barney's letter of October 23 (below). Scott to Chase, Oct. 23, 1862 ( Chase Papers, Hist. Soc. of Pa.).
3. Scott spent the summer of 1862 in New York City and near the U.S. Military Academy. In August, Chase's daughters had been staying with Helen McDowell, Irvin McDowell's wife, at Buttermilk Falls, N.Y. Helen B. McDowell to Chase, Aug. 21, 1862 ( Chase Papers, L.C.); Charles Winslow Elliott, Winfield Scott: The Soldier and the Man ( New York, 1937), 755.


Autograph letter. Chase Papers, Library of Congress (micro 23:0451).

Washington, Treasury Department Oct. 23, 1862.


The conversions of United States Notes in Five-Twenty Years 6% Bonds are quite too slow to meet the wants of the Government created by the War.

I have carefully considered many suggestions made of modes of hastening them.

Two only seem to be entitled to much consideration; first, a negotiation of a large amount of the bonds say fifty millions for United States Notes in the way of Loan; and, second, stimulation to conversions by enlisting in the work a number of agents, very much in the same way as was done in the case of the popular loan.

The first mode is most convenient in several aspects. It would relieve the Department of responsibility & trouble; it would secure the needed amount at once; and it would probably engage the heartiest support of the large capitalists.

On the other hand, it would be the most expensive mode. The act of Congress1 makes all the Notes convertible in 5-20 Bonds at par, and of course makes it impossible to obtain subscription to these Bonds except from investers at that rate. Very few subscribe for large amounts of a loan except with a view to profits from resales: and it is too plain for comment that where the Government is always in the market offering her bonds at par for her own notes subscribers for those bonds in large amounts cannot expect to make profits, if they take them at par. Hence in order to obtain these notes for Bonds from capitalists desiring to


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