The Salmon P. Chase Papers - Vol. 3

By Salmon Chase; John Niven et al. | Go to book overview

TO ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Letter in clerk's band, signed by Chase. Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (micro 24:0376).

Treasury Department
Dec. 29, 1862.Sir:1My most thoughtful attention has been given to the questions which you have proposed to me as the Head of one of the Departments, touching the Act of Congress admitting the State of West-Virginia into the Union.The questions proposed are two:--
1. Is the Act constitutional?
2. Is the Act expedient?

1. In my judgment the Act is constitutional.

In the Convention which framed the Constitution, the formation of new States was much considered. Some of the ablest men in the Convention, including all or nearly all the Delegates from Maryland, Delaware and New-Jersey, insisted that Congress should have power to form new States, within the limits of existing States, without the consent of the latter. All agreed that Congress should have the power, with that consent. The result of deliberation was the grant to Congress of a general power to admit new States; with a limit on its exercise in respect to States formed within the jurisdiction of old States, or by the junction of old States or parts of such, to cases of consent by the Legislatures of the States concerned.2

The power of Congress to admit the State of West-Virginia, formed within the existing State of Virginia, is clear, if the consent of the Legislature of the State of Virginia has been given

That this consent has been given cannot be denied, unless the whole action of the Executive and Legislative branches of the Federal Government for the last eighteen months has been mistaken, and is now to be reversed.

In April, 1861, a Convention of citizens of Virginia assumed to pass an Ordinance of Secession; called in rebel troops; and made common cause with the insurrection which had broken out against the Government of the United States. Most of the persons exercising the functions of State Government in Virginia joined the rebels, and refused to perform their duties to the Union they had sworn to support. They thus abdicated their powers of government in respect to the United States. But a large portion of the people, a number of members of the Legislature, and some judicial officers, did not follow their treasonable example. Most of the members of the Legislature who remained faithful to their oaths, met at Wheeling and reconstituted the Government

-347-

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The Salmon P. Chase Papers - Vol. 3
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Editorial Advisory Board v
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Chronology xi
  • Introduction by John Niven xv
  • Editorial Procedures xxiii
  • The Correspondence of Salmon P. Chase, 1858-March 1863 3
  • From Theodore Parker 4
  • To Gerrit Smith 7
  • From Joseph Medill 8
  • From Joseph Medill 11
  • To Abraham Lincoln 13
  • To Edward L. Pierce 14
  • To Charles Sumner 16
  • To James Monroe 18
  • To Joseph H. Barrett 20
  • To Thomas Spooner 22
  • To Richard C. Parsons 23
  • To Abraham Lincoln 27
  • From Edward I. Chase 28
  • To Robert Hosea 29
  • To Charles A. Dana 32
  • To John Greenleaf Whittier 33
  • To Ruhamah Ludlow Hunt 35
  • To George G. Fogg 37
  • To Benjamin F. Wade 40
  • To Winfield Scott 42
  • To George Opdyke 43
  • To Abraham Lincoln 46
  • To Norman B. Judd 48
  • To Abraham Lincoln 52
  • To William H. Seward 53
  • To Abraham Lincoln 54
  • From Richard Ela 55
  • From Henry W. Hoffman 56
  • To Hiram Barney 59
  • To Abraham Lincoln 60
  • To Samuel Hooper 61
  • To Alphonso Taft 62
  • To John J. Cisco 63
  • To William P. Mellen 65
  • To Jacob D. Cox 66
  • From Hiram Barney 67
  • To John Austin Stevens, Sr. 68
  • From Thomas M. Key 71
  • To George B. Mcclellan 73
  • From Jay Cooke 74
  • From Green Adams 76
  • To William P. Mellen 77
  • From William Nelson 79
  • From Green Adams 80
  • To John C. Frémont 83
  • To Charles P. Mcilvaine 89
  • To William Nelson 90
  • From Joshua F. Speed 91
  • From Garrett Davis 92
  • To Green Adams 94
  • From Joseph Medill 95
  • To William Tecumseh Sherman 97
  • To William Tecumseh Sherman 100
  • To Kate Chase 101
  • To James H. Walton 102
  • To Hiram Barney 103
  • To Abraham Lincoln 105
  • To Richard Smith 106
  • To Simon Cameron 107
  • To Cornelius S. Hamilton 110
  • From John J. Cisco 111
  • To John J. Cisco 112
  • From Edward L. Pierce 113
  • From William H. Reynolds 115
  • To John Austin Stevens, Sr. 118
  • From Edward L. Pierce 119
  • To Kate Chase 120
  • To Thaddeus Stevens 124
  • From William Sprague 129
  • From Mansfield French 132
  • To M. D. Potter 135
  • From Edward L. Pierce 136
  • To Hiram Barney 138
  • To James Monroe 141
  • From Edward L. Pierce 142
  • From Mansfield French 143
  • From Edward L. Pierce 146
  • To William P. Mellen 148
  • To Bradford R. Wood 151
  • From Edward L. Pierce 158
  • To Edwin M. Stanton 159
  • From William Nelson 166
  • To Jay Cooke 171
  • To Thomas M. Key 171
  • From Alexander Hays and James W. Hays 176
  • From Ormsby M. Mitchel 177
  • From Edward L. Pierce 178
  • To Jay Cooke 181
  • From Mary Peabody Mann 183
  • To Janet Chase 184
  • From Edward L. Pierce 185
  • To Janet Chase 188
  • From Edward L. Pierce 191
  • To Janet Chase 192
  • From Edward L. Pierce 197
  • To Edward L. Pierce 200
  • To David Hunter 202
  • To Murat Halstead 204
  • To Edwin M. Stanton 205
  • From Joseph Medill 206
  • To Irvin Mcdowell 207
  • To John Murray Forbes 209
  • To Edward L. Pierce 211
  • To Benjamin F. Butler 217
  • From George S. Denison 220
  • To William P. Fessenden 225
  • To Thaddeus Stevens 226
  • To Richard C. Parsons 228
  • To Edward Haight 229
  • To Benjamin F. Wade 233
  • To Benjamin F. Butler 234
  • To Edward L. Pierce 235
  • From William S. Rosecrans 239
  • To William Cullen Bryant 242
  • To Jay Cooke 246
  • From George Bancroft 249
  • From Robert Dale Owen 251
  • To William M. Dickson 254
  • From John Q. Smith 256
  • To William Cullen Bryant 258
  • To George S. Denison 261
  • From John Sherman 261
  • To John J. Cisco 265
  • To Horace Greeley 266
  • From John E. Williams 268
  • From Horatio G. Wright 270
  • To Alexander Sankey Latty 273
  • To Zachariah Chandler 275
  • To John Sherman 276
  • From Ormsby M. Mitchel 279
  • To Oran Follett 283
  • From William P. Mellen 284
  • From John Sherman 285
  • To John Jay 286
  • To William P. Mellen 287
  • To Ormsby M. Mitchel 288
  • To Napoleon Bonaparte Buford 289
  • From William Sprague 294
  • To Winfield Scott 297
  • To Jay Cooke 298
  • To Abraham Lincoln 299
  • From Hiram Barney 301
  • To William S. Rosecrans 302
  • To Hiram Barney 304
  • To Benjamin F. Butler 305
  • To Ezra Lincoln 307
  • To Richard C. Parsons 309
  • To George Opdyke 314
  • To Joseph H. Geiger 316
  • To Benjamin F. Butler 317
  • To Abraham Lincoln 318
  • From Benjamin F. Butler 320
  • From James A. Hamilton 331
  • To Joseph Medill 333
  • To Benjamin F. Butler 334
  • From George Opdyke 338
  • From Abraham Lincoln 340
  • To William H. Seward 341
  • To Thaddeus Stevens 342
  • From Simon Cameron 343
  • To Abraham Lincoln 344
  • To Abraham Lincoln 347
  • From Mansfield French 350
  • To William P. Fessenden 363
  • To Valentine B. Horton 366
  • To Elbridge G. Spaulding 368
  • To William P. Mellen 372
  • To Horace Greeley 374
  • From Horace Greeley 375
  • From John Sherman 379
  • To David Hunter 381
  • To Richard C. Parsons 382
  • To Galusha A. Grow 384
  • To Abraham Lincoln 385
  • To James A. Garfield 388
  • To Cuthbert Bullitt 389
  • To Abraham Lincoln 390
  • From George Opdyke 391
  • To George S. Denison 392
  • From George S. Denison 394
  • From Edward Bates 395
  • From George Opdyke 396
  • From Rufus Saxton 397
  • From Andrew Johnson 404
  • To William H. Aspin Wall and John Murray Forbes 407
  • To Robert J. Walker 408
  • From George S. Denison 412
  • From George S. Denison 414
  • Bibliography 421
  • Index 425
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