As Chase gradually established himself in law and reform and turned to antislavery concerns, he inevitably became involved in politics. He left Washington in 1830 predicting dire results from the leveling tendencies of Andrew Jackson and his Democratic party. In Cincinnati, he joined the National Republican party and became active in local politics. In 1831, he was chosen as a delegate to the party convention which nominated Henry Clay. Chase's support for Clay was lukewarm because he much preferred William Wirt. When Wirt accepted the nomination of the Anti Masons, Chase endorsed him, not because he agreed with the third-party movement but "because of my personal affection for him and my active confidence in his public and private virtues and . . . good abilities." Wirt, he felt, was "more likely to conciliate all sections" and restore harmony than was Clay. But because of Wirt's poor chances, Chase voted for a general ticket of electors pledged to the candidate who might win a majority of the electoral college. His main concern was the defeat of Andrew Jackson, for "if he should be reelected all is lost." He believed that his own section would be ruined, and he felt that business and property values had already begun to sink in anticipation of Jackson's reelection.1
Four additional years of Andrew Jackson convinced Chase even more of the need for a Whig president. During Jackson's second term Chase became an active organizer of the new anti-Jackson proBank party, formed in Cincinnati in January 1834. Chase was part
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Publication information: Book title: Salmon P. Chase:A Life in Politics. Contributors: Frederick J. Blue - Author. Publisher: Kent State University Press. Place of publication: Kent, OH. Publication year: 1987. Page number: 41.
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