considerations which governed my original recommendation of Mr Howard--namely, capacity, integrity, and fidelity to the country and to your administration4
With great respect,
S. P. CHASE
|1.||The Senate, at the request of James Dixon of Connecticut, had rejected Howard's nomination on February 26. Dixon later reconsidered his opposition, but the full Senate did not reverse its decision. Basler, Collected Works, 6:122-23; U.S. Senate, Journal of the Ex ecutive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States . . . ( Washington, D.C., 1828-; reprint, New York, 1969), 13:196; Howard K. Beale, ed., Diary of Gideon Welles: Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, 3 vols. ( New York, 1960), 1:235, 239, 246; Chase to Dixon, Feb. 28, 1863 ( Chase Papers, Hist. Soc. of Pa.).|
|2.||George S. Boutwell.|
|3.||The committee had accepted Howard's name, among many others, on January 28. U.S. Senate, Journal of Executive Proceedings, 13:103.|
|4.||Chase had recommended Howard's appointment on August 7 and Lincoln had approved it on the fourteenth: Chase to Lincoln, Aug. 7, 1862 ( Lincoln Papers, L.C.); Lincoln to Chase. Aug. 14, 1862 ( Lincoln Coll., John Hay Lib., Brown Univ.).|
Autograph letter. Chase Papers, Library of Congress (micro 25:0560).
New York Feby 27. 1863.
My dear Sir:
This morning's papers contain what purports to be the report of the Conference Committee on the Loan Bill,1 in which I notice that they have decided to give you authority to make the $400.000.00 interest bearing Treasury Notes either a legal tender at their face value exclusive of interest, or convertible into legal tender including interest past due and unpaid, but excluding current interest.
I regard both of these provisions as most unwise. The adoption of the first, in its best aspect, would give a currency no better in any respect than the legal tender notes without interest, while it would subject the government to a loss equal to the amount of interest paid on them. This, however, is a harmless objection compared with those which follow-- Viz: The interest they bear, which is to be excluded from their legal value as money, and which must necessarily be made payable at fixed periods,--say quarterly, semi-annually, or annually, would necessarily withdraw them from circulation as money as these periods approached, converting them into merchandize by their commanding a premium equal to the interest or thereabouts, thus rendering them the most disturbing element ever thrown into any currency. They could not, in my opinion, fail to produce periodical financial crises that would endanger the credit of the Government and banking institu-