Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase Bows Out of Presidential Race

March 7, 1864

Historian William Frank Zornow wrote in Lincoln & the Party Divided regarding the presidential ambitions of Treasury Secretary of Salmon P. Chase:  “The Ohio Legislature’s action convinced him that he was not wanted, and on March 7 he wrote to Representative Albert Riddle, ‘Our Ohio folks don’t want me enough, if they want me at all, to make it proper for me to allow my name to be used.’  Forty-eight hours before, after much consideration, Chase had written to James Hall asking that no further consideration be given him.  The Chase boom was deflated, although Chase did not realize it fully at the moment.’”

President Lincoln writes Maryland Congressman John A. J. Creswell regarding a potential constitutional amendment ending slavery in the state: “I am very anxious for emancipation to be effected in Maryland in some substantial form. I think it probable that my expressions of a preference for gradual over immediate emancipation, are misunderstood. I had thought the gradual would produce less confusion, and destitution, and therefore would be more satisfactory; but if those who are better acquainted with the subject, and are more deeply interested in it, prefer the immediate, most certainly I have no objection to their judgment prevailing. My wish is that all who are for emancipation in any form, shall co-operate, all treating all respectfully, and all adopting and acting upon the major opinion, when fairly ascertained. What I have dreaded is the danger that by jealousies, rivalries, and consequent ill-blood—driving one another out of meetings and conventions—perchance from the polls—the friends of emancipation themselves may divide, and lose the measure altogether. I wish this letter to not be made public; but no man representing me as I herein represent myself, will be in any danger of contradiction by me.

President Lincoln meets with Missouri Gov. Willard P. Hall, after which he writes Secretary of Ward Edwin M. Stanton: “The bearer is Gov. Hall of Missouri, whom I have much pleasure in introducing to you. I shall be glad for yourself and Col. Fry to give him a full hearing on Missouri matters.”

President Lincoln wires General Benjamin F. Butler: “Gen. Meade has Richmond Sentinel, saying that Col. Dahlgren was killed, and ninety of his men captured at King & Queen C. H. When did Kilpatrick’s informant last see Col. Dahlgren?”  The news of Ulric Dahlgren’s death would prove true.

At night, President Lincoln watches Edwin Booth in “The Fool’s Revenge” at Grover’s Theatre.

White House aide William O. Stoddard writes in an anonymous newspaper dispatch: “Another week of the spring campaign has passed, and as yet no results seem to have been obtained beyond the destruction of rebel commissary stores, and cutting off important lines of communication for their armies.”  He adds:

We are a little puzzled here as to what the President will do with General Grant, now that he outranks all other generals in the field.  It is pretty well known that Mr. Lincoln believes Grant to be in his proper place, and about the same of Halleck.  If this is the case, he will no doubt find some means of keeping them both where they are, and the question is how he will do it.”

Published in: on March 7, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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