S. P. CHASE
Secy. of the Treasy. Hon. Thaddeus Stevens
Chm. Come. Ways & Means &c &c &c.
|Stevens, as the committee's chairman, had written a one-sentence letter on December 19 requesting a draft bill from Chase. Regarding the ways and means bill that subsequently emerged from Stevens's committee, see Chase's letter to William P. Fessenden, January 11, 1863 (below). Stevens to Chase, Dec. 19, 1863 ( Letters Recd. from House Committees, Gen. Recs. Treas. Dept., Nat. Arch.).|
Autograph letter. Chase Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania (micro 24:0348).
Lockiel, 24 D[ec] 1862.
My dear Sir
I am rather sorry you offered your resignation, for it, I think saved Mr. Seward from private life, to which nearly the whole country thinks he should retire--and yet when an attack was made on the cabinet, I should have done as you did, and therefore I have no right to complain. In his case, I would rather have lost my head than to have taken back my resignation--and yet, I knew he would do so. I believe I told your daughter, that he would. I know I told several persons, that it would be so. The subject was talked of freely, during my stay in Washington, & yet I heard not a whispered hope for your retiring. To my mind, some, change of men is necessary for the preservation of the country. I thought so, last winter, when the President said he needed a "scape goat," and I needed no second whisper to induce me to give place to another. Mr. Seward could render the greatest service he has ever done his country, by now following my example, & I doubt not he would in good time, get his reward in the approval of the country. His time for good in the Cabinet has gone bye and like a true patriot; as I believe him to be, he should not hesitate to retire, even, if he believed he was to be a sacrifice but my belief is that no man, in this country will be injured permanently, who does right, That we shall in the end triumph, I have no more doubt than I have of the existence of a tribunal above, which will judge & decide on all our actions here--but we may have to go through this trial, for a longer period than you or I at first believed.
I was sick and sore, when I saw you, about the country--but you did not seem willing to talk & I did not then then know the cause of your