|Wrote McIlvaine on January 9: "I want some comfort about the affairs & prospects of the country--& I thought perhaps you can administer to me. Is there any light?" he asked of military affairs. Mcllvaine to Chase, Jan. 9, 1863 ( Chase Papers, Hist. Soc. of Pa.).|
|Lincoln had removed Ambrose Burnside as commander of the Army of the Potomac and installed Joseph Hooker. Long, Civil War Day by Day, 315.|
|In his letter of January 9, McIlvaine requested copies of the reports of the secretaries of war, the navy, and the Treasury. McIlvaine to Chase, Jan. 9, 1863 ( Chase Papers, Hist. Soc. of Pa.); Report of the Secretary of the Navy, 37th Cong., 3d sess., 1862, H. Ex. Doc. 1, v. 3; Report of the Secretary of War, 37th Cong., 3d sess., 1862, H. Ex. Doc. 1, v. 4; Report of the Secretary . . . for the Year Ending June 30, 1862.|
Letter in clerk's hand on letterhead stationery, signed by Chase. Clara H. Mellen Papers, Bowdoin College (micro 24:0896).
Treasury Department. Jan. 27, 1863.
My dear Mr. Mellen.
The newspapers cannot be relied upon for correct information of what transpires here.1 Their Correspondents gather their information from street talk and conversations with Members and, occasionally, with Heads or employès of Departments; and, in the multitude of conflicting statements and opinions, rarely hit the precise truth.
The Bill of the Committee,2 which has passed the House, does not express my views, though in some respects it is much better than the Act of last Session;3 and so much was conceded to me by the Committee, that I did not think it wise to oppose its passage through the House though I should have been glad to have had it amended in several particulars.
First, I desired that interest on all temporary Loans should be paid in U.S. Notes.
Second, I preferred that the Treasury Notes bearing interest should be made a legal tender for their face value, excluding interest, instead of being made convertible into United States Notes.4
Third, I did not see the necessity of increasing the issue of U.S. Notes.5
Fourth, I thought the tax on bank note circulation should be a uniform rate of two per cent per annum, payable semi-annually, instead of the graduated Scale preferred by the Committee.
Fifth, I wished that the Section authorizing deposits in State Banks and checks upon them, that is to say, the virtual restoration of the Pet Bank System, should be stricken out altogether.6
The majority of the Committee is yet averse to the Uniform Currency and Banking Bill;7 but I still hope to get a majority in its favor; but it is precisely on this point that all efforts should be concentrated. If this Bill can be passed into Law, it is comparatively unimportant what other measures prevail. So it is if the Bill does not become a law. With it, success is possible and probable. Without it failure is probable if not certain