Cabinet Meeting Discusses Cotton and Trade Regulations

September 30, 1862

The usual Tuesday Cabinet meeting is held.  There are no pressing issues but regulations concerning cotton trade are discussed.  Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase writes in his diary: “At Department received a note from Seward, with memorandum by Stuart, Acting British Minister, of conversations with Seward about cotton. From this memorandum, it appears that Butler’s order of August, authorizing free purchases even from Slidell, and Grant’s order annulling Sherman’s prohibition of payments in Gold, were, if not motivated by Seward, fully approved by him and made the basis of assurances that no hindrance to purchase and payment on cotton for rebels would be interposed by this government. Afterwards, or about the time of these orders, Seward proposed the same policy of substantially unrestricted purchase for money, to me; and I was at first, in view of the importance of a supply of cotton, inclined to adopt it; but reflection and information from Special Agents in the Mississippi Valley changed my views. The subject was also brought up in Cabinet, and Seward proposed liberty to purchase 500,000 bales. Stanton and I opposed this, and the President sided with us and the subject was dropped. I then proposed to frame Regulations for trade to and from Insurrectionary Districts, in which was included prohibitions of payments in gold.”

Published in: on September 30, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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