|Congress, Gen. Recs. Treasury Dept., Nat. Arch.). The committee's version of the bill as reported to the House of Representatives on January 12 appears in Congressional Globe, 37th Cong., 3d sess., 1862-63, 283-84, and the act as signed into law by Lincoln on March 3 may be found in Statutes at Large, 12:709-13.|
|2.||The committee's version of the bill called for 6 percent bonds payable after twenty years. Chase's suggested amendments allowed for an unspecified shorter term. In final form the act authorized "10-40" bonds--payable not less than ten nor more than forty years from their date of issue--bearing up to 6 percent interest.|
|3.||The committee's original bill would have authorized $300 million in notes for payment of the military and other government creditors. This measure followed up on the joint resolution of January 17 that addressed the issue of pay to the army and navy (see Chase to William P. Fessenden, January 7, 1863 [above]). In his amended version of the bill Chase substituted a figure of $150 million, and that number was in the version of the bill that passed Congress.|
|4.||The act as approved in March contained the committee's provision for a semiannual duty of one percent on bank notes. The amount of a bank's circulation subject to the tax varied according to a graduated scale: larger institutions paid the duty on smaller portions of their circulation than did smaller banks. Chase disliked the scaled tax and suggested instead a rate of 2 percent of the gross circulation of bank notes.|
|5.||The committee's bill contained a section that would have allowed banks to receive deposits of some Federal funds. As indicated by Chase's terminology, the system was reminiscent of the government's use of favored private banks as federal depositories during Andrew Jackson's conflict with the Bank of the United States. In presenting his amendments to Spaulding, Chase suggested that the pending bank bill (H.R. 656) should supercede this section of the act. The ways and means bill as finally passed did not contain the provision. Hammond, Banks and Politics, 419-20.|
|6.||In addition to the amendments noted in this letter, Chase, in his January 22 communication to Spaulding, asked for the elimination of convertibility clauses that would have allowed the exchange of notes issued under the act for bonds on a dollar-for-dollar basis. Chase also requested some changes concerning the authorization for issues of notes. The act as passed in March incorporated those amendments. Chase continued to labor to shape details of the act as it worked its way through Congress. Chase to William P. Fessenden, Feb. 24, 1863 ( John Sherman Papers, L.C.); draft section of bill, [ Feb. 23, 1863] (Committee on Finance, 37th Cong., Recs. of U.S. Senate, Nat. Arch.).|
Letterpress copy of autograph letter. Chase Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania (micro 24:0841).
Washington Jany 25, 1863
My dear Bishop
Your letter should have been answered at once, but I need not apologize to you for delay; for you know my hindrances.1 Ever since writing this initial sentence I have been interrupted half a dozen times by half a dozen callers on various business.
It is impossible for me to express my anxiety concerning the state of the country; but my ignorance of the real condition except so far as my own department is concerned is almost as great as my anxiety. Our Administration, under the President's system, if system it be, is Departmental. There are some important matters which the President reserves substantially to himself--for example those relating to slavery for the most part. He also not unfrequently determines important & some times unimportant questions concerning the War; and decides on many