American Statesmen - Vol. 2

By John T. Morse Jr. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI.
SUNDRIES.

IT has been pleasant to emerge from the dismal winter of 1862-63 into the sun-gleam of the Fourth of July of the latter year. But it is necessary to return for a while into that dusky gloom, for the career of a "war president" is by no means wholly a series of campaigns. Domestic polities, foreign relations, finance, make their several demands.

Concerning one of these topics, at least, there is little to be said. One day, in a period of financial stress, Mr. Chase expressed a wish to introduce to the President a delegation of bankers, who had come to Washington to discuss the existing condition with regard to money. "Money!" exclaimed Mr. Lincoln, "I don't know anything about 'money'! I never had enough of my own to fret me, and I have no opinion about it any way." Accordingly, throughout his administration, he left the whole subject in the hands of the Secretary of the Treasury. The tariffs and internal revenue bills, the legal tender notes, the "five-twenties," the "ten-forties," and the "seven-thirties," all the loans, the national banking system, in short, all the financial schemes of the administration were

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