The Salmon P. Chase Papers - Vol. 3

By John Niven; James P. McClure et al. | Go to book overview
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thaniel Banks replaced Butler as commander of the Department of the Gulf before Butler could try. Trefousse, Ben Butler, 128-30, 132-33.
In his letter of October 16, Denison had told of plans to send the 1st Colored Regiment into the area west of New Orleans, around the Opelousas Railroad.

TO EZRA LINCOLN

Letterpress copy of autograph letter. Chase Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania (micro 23:0605).

Wash October 30th. 1862

My dear Sir 1

I observed with great regret lately that a Convention held in [Fanueil] Hall on the 7th day of October, stated in one of its resolutions that the public Debt had then nearly reached two Thousand Millions of Dollars.2 The respectability of the Members of the Convention forbids the supposition of intentional Misrepresentation but the statement itself shows how great errors very intelligent persons may fall into unless careful to verify the accuracy of their information.

The actual amount of the Public Debt [on] the day stated, including the whole circulation of [United] States Notes & all unpaid requisitions [--] in short every form of ascertained indebtedness known to this Department was actually [ illeg.], and this [amount] includes [the] sum of 76,455,299,28, being the Public Debt since 4th March 1861.

Such statements as that made by the Convention cannot fail to injure the public credit, which I cannot suppose to have been the purpose of its members. To prevent that effect, as far as possible it may be well to make the truth known; and you can do so in any form you think expedient.

It gives me great pleasure to know that our frie [nd] Mr Hooper is a candidate for reelection.3 I have often spoken of the great assistance he rendered me in the early days of my administration of this Department. In the dark days which followed the fall of Fort Sumter, it became vitally important to [make] a Loan of about Five Millions. The greater [proportion had] been subscribed by Banks & Capitalists of New York & other cities, but more than half on condition that the whole loan should be taken. When the proposals were opened [there] was found to be a lack of subscriptions to a [large] amount. [Mr] Hooper happened to be in Washington, and at my request, came promptly forward &, relying on the Banks & Capitalists of Boston to sustain him--a reliance I am glad to say justified by the [event] subscribed a million & a quarter of dollars and saved the Lo [an.] It was a bold & patriotic act, at a critical moment, of great service to the country and to me as the Head of this Department.

His services since in Congress have not been less important, though no one act perhaps has required the courage which he then evinced.

-309-

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The Salmon P. Chase Papers - Vol. 3
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