Puslapio vaizdai


would have hesitated before repeating this choice among three of the most eminent citiidentical proceeding; but, as we have said, Mr. zens of New York whose names he presented; Chase was deficient in this saving sense, and but the Secretary's mind was made up. Withhe apparently saw no reason why it should not out further consultation with the President, be repeated indefinitely.

he sent him the nomination for Mr. Field on Mr. John J. Cisco, the assistant treasurer the 27th of June. The next day the President at New York, who had served the Government replied: with remarkable ability and efficiency through three administrations, resigned his commission appointment; principally, because of Senator Mor

I cannot, without much embarrassment, make this in May, to take effect at the close of the fiscal gan's very firm opposition to it. Senator Harris year, the 30th of June, 1864. It was a post of has not yet spoken to me on the subject, though I great importance in a financial point of view, understand he is not averse to the appointment of and not insignificant in the way of political in- Mr. Field, nor yet to any one of the three named fluence. Up to this time, Mr. Chase had made by Senator Morgan. Governor Morgan tells all the important appointments in New York me he has mentioned three names to you, to wit: from his own wing of the supporters of the R: M. Blatchford, Dudley S. Gregory, and Thomas

Hillhouse. It will really oblige me if you will Union— the men who had formerly been con

make choice among those three, or any other man nected with the Democratic party, and who that Senators Morgan and Harris will be satisfied now belonged to what was called the radical with, and send me a nomination for him.1 wing of the Republican. This matter was the source of constant complaint from those who

There have been few ministers who would were sometimes called the Conservative Re- have refused so reasonable and considerate a publicans of New York, or those who had in request as this, but it did not for a moment great part formerly belonged to the Whig shake Mr. Chase's determination to have his party, and who in later years acknowledged the

own way in the matter. He sent a note to leadership of Mr. Seward. The President was the President asking for an interview, and anxious that in an appointment so important telegraphed to Mr. Cisco, begging him most as that which was now about to be made both earnestly to withdraw his resignation and sections of the party in New York should, if give the country the benefit of his services at possible, be satisfied; and especially that no least one quarter longer. He was determined, nominations should be made which should be in one way or another, that neither the Presipositively objectionable to Senator Morgan, dent nor the senators of New York should who was considered to represent more espe- have anything to say in regard to this appointcially the city of New York and its great com

ment; and conscious of his own blamelessness mercial interests. To this Mr. Chase at first in- in all the controversy, he went home and wrote terposed no objection; and it was upon full and in his diary: "Oh, for more faith and clearer friendly consultation and conference between sight! How stable is the city of God! How him and Senator Morgan that the appointment disordered is the city of man!” Later in the was offered successively to Mr. Denning Duer day the President wrote him : and to Mr. John A. Stewart, both of them gentlemen of the highest standing. But both de

When I received your note this forenoon sugclined the office tendered them; upon which gesting a conversation-a verbal conversation Mr. Chase suddenly resolved to appoint Mr. in relation to the appointment of a successor to Mr.

Cisco, 1 hesitated, because the difference does not, in Maunsell B. Field, who was at that time an as

the main part, lie within the range of a conversation sistant secretary of the Treasury. Mr. Field was between you and me. As the proverb goes, no a gentleman of excellent social position, of fine inan knows so well where the shoe pinches as he literary culture, to whom the Secretary was sin- who wears it. I do not think Mr. Field a very cerely attached, but who was entirely destitute proper man for the place, but I would trust your of such standing in either the political or the judgment and forego this were the greater difficulty financial circles of New York as was required out of the way. Much as I personally like Mr. by so important a place. Senator Morgan at him in his place when nearly all our friends in

Barney, it has been a great burden to me to retain once protested vigorously against such an ap- New York were directly or indirectly urging his pointment, which only served to confirm the removal. Then the appointinent of Hogeboom to Secretary in his insistence upon it. Besides his be general appraiser brought me to, and has ever objections to Mr. Field, whom he thought in since kept me at, the verge of open revolt. Now no way competent to hold such a place, Mr. the appointment of Mr. Field would precipitate it, Morgan urged that the political result of his unless Senator Morgan, and those feeling as he does, appointment would be extremely unfavorable could be brought to concur in it. Strained as i to the Union party in New York. He became

1 Lincoln to Chase, June 28, 1864. Warden, “ Lise thoroughly alarmed, and begged the Secretary of S. P. Chase," p. 611. and the President successively to make their 2 Schuckers, “ Lise of S. P. Chase," p. 506.

already am at this point, I do not think that I can David Tod was by no means an unknown make this appointment in the direction of still man. He had gained an honorable position greater strain. 1

at the bar; had been the Democratic candiIn the evening the extremely tense situation date for governor in 1843; had served with was relieved by a telegram from Mr. Cisco credit as minister to Brazil; was first vicecomplying with the request of the Secretary president of the Charleston convention and to remain another quarter. But it was not in became its president at Baltimore on the sethe nature of Mr. Chase to accept this simple cession of Caleb Cushing; was one of the most dénouement. He felt that the President had prominent men in Ohio in railroad and minacted badly, and must be subjected to some ing enterprises; had been the most eminent discipline; and he naturally resorted to those and efficient of the war Democrats of the measures which had hitherto proved so effect- State; and as governor had shown executive ive. He wrote to him :

capacity of high order. There were some The withdrawal of Mr. Cisco's resignation, which Chase and Governor Tod that doubtless caught

superficial points of resemblance between Mr. l inclose, relieves the present difficulty; but I cannot help feeling that my position here is not alto- the attention of the President in choosing a gether agreeable to you, and it is certainly too full successor to the former in such haste. Tod of embarrassment and difficulty and painful respon- was a citizen of the same State with Chase, of sibility to allow in me the least desire to retain it. which both had been governor; he had come I think it my duty, therefore, to inclose to you my into the Union party from the Democrats; he resignation. I shall regard it as a real relief if you was a man of unusually dignified and impressthink proper to accept it, and will most cheerfully ive presence; but it is safe to say that no one render to my successor any aid he may find useful in entering upon his duties. 2

had ever thought of him for the place now.

vacant. The nomination was presented to the In this letter Mr. Chase inclosed his formal Senate at its opening and was received with resignation. The President received this note amazement. Not the least surprised of the while very much occupied with other affairs. statesmen in the Capitol was Mr. Chase himThe first paper which met his eye was the self, who was busy at the moment in one of telegram from Mr. Cisco withdrawing his the committee rooms of the Senate arranging resignation. Glad that the affair was so happily some legislation which he needed for his determinated, he laid the packet aside for some partment. There are many indications which hours, without looking at the other papers con- go to show that his resignation of the evening tained in it. The next morning, wishing to before was intended, like those which had write a congratulatory note to Mr. Chase up- preceded it, as a means of discipline for the on this welcome termination of the crisis, he President. After sending it he wrote to Mr. found, to his bitter chagrin and disappoint- Cisco expressing his thanks for the withdrawal ment, that the Secretary had once more ten- of his resignation, and saying : dered his resignation. He took it to mean precisely what the Secretary had intended

It relieves me from a very painful embarrassment.

I could not remain here and see your office that if he were to retain Mr. Chase as Secre- made parcel of the machinery of party, or even feel tary of the Treasury, it should not be hereafter serious apprehension that it might be. as a subordinate; to refuse this resignation, to go once more to the Secretary and urge him

Even on the morning of the 30th of June, to remain, would amount to an abdication of Mr. Chase wrote to the President recommendhis constitutional powers. He therefore, with- ing a considerable increase of taxation, saying out hesitation, sent him this letter :

that there would be a deficit by existing laws Your resignation of the office of Secretary of the of about eighty millions. Treasury, sent me yesterday, is accepted. Of all i

On the other hand, there is nothing to show, have said in commendation of your ability and fidelity up to the instant that he was informed of the I have nothing to unsay, and yet you and I have nomination of Tod, that he expected his offireached a point of mutual embarrassment in our cial career to end on that day. The news for that official relations which it seems cannot be over- moment created something like consternation come or longer sustained consistently with the public in political circles at the capital. Mr. Washservice.3

burne hurried to the White House, saying the At the same time he sent to the Senate the change was disastrous; that at this time of nomination of David Tod of Ohio as Secre- military unsuccess, financial weakness, contary of the Treasury. Most people have chosen gressional hesitation on questions of conscripto consider this a singular selection. Yet tion, and imminent famine in the West, it was

1 Lincoln to Chase, June 28, 1864. Warden, “ Life 3 Lincoln to Chase, June 30, 1864. Warden, "Life of S. P. Chase," p. 613.

of S. P. Chase," p. 614. 2 Chase to Lincoln, June 29, 1864.

4 Reid, “ Ohio in the War."


ruinous. The Senate Committee on Finance, had called upon him and, evidently hoping to which the nomination of Tod had been re- that some reconciliation was still possible, told ferred, came down in a body to talk with the him that, several days before, the President President about it. The President gave this ac- had spoken to him in terms of high esteem, count of the interview: “ Fessenden was fright- indicating his purpose of making him Chiefened, Conness was angry, Sherman thought Justice in the event of a vacancy, a post which we could not have gotten on together much Mr. Chase had long before told the President longer anyhow, Cowan and Van Winkle were was the one he most desired. Mr. Chase anindifferent.” 1 They not only objected to any swered that had such expression of good-will change, but specially protested against the reached him in time it might have prevented nomination of Tod as too little known and too the present misunderstanding, but that now inexperienced for the place. The President re- he could not change his position. “Besides," plied that he had little personal acquaintance he adds, “I did not see how I could carry with Tod, that he had nominated him on ac- on the department without more means than count of the high opinion he had formed of Congress was likely to supply, and amid the him as governor of Ohio; but that the Sen- embarrassment created by factious hostility ate had the duty and responsibility of passing within, and both factious and party hostility upon the question of fitness, in which it must without the department.” 2 be entirely untrammeled; he could not, in jus- At night the President received a dispatch tice to himself or to Tod, withdraw the nomina- from Mr. Tod declining the appointment on tion. The impression of the undesirability of the ground of ill-health. The President's secthe change rather deepened during the day, retary went immediately to the Capitol to comMr. Hooper of Massachusetts, an intimate municate this information to the senators, so friend of both the President and Mr. Chase, and that no vote might be taken on the nominathe man upon whom both principally relied for tion. Early the next morning the President sent the conduct of financial legislation in the House, to the Senate the nomination of William Pitt spoke of the crisis in deep depression. He said Fessenden, senator from Maine. When he gave he had been for some time of the opinion that the nomination to his secretary, the latter inMr. Chase did not see his way entirely clear to formed him that Mr. Fessenden was then in raising the funds which were necessary; that the ante-room waiting to see him. He answered, his supplementary demand for money sent in “Start at once for the Senate, and then let at the close of the session after everything had Fessenden come in.” The senator, who was been granted which he asked, looked like an chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, intention to throw an anchor to windward in began immediately to discuss the question of case he was refused. Mr. Hooper said he had the vacant place in the Treasury, suggesting waked this morning feeling a little vexed that the name of Mr. McCulloch. The President Chase had done this, that he thought it was listened to him for a moment with a smile of an attempt to throw an unfair responsibility amusement, and then told him that he had alupon Congress; but now this resignation came ready sent his nomination to the Senate. Festo relieve him of all responsibility; his suc- senden leaped to his feet, exclaiming, “ You cessor would have an enormous work to do; the must withdraw it. I cannot accept.” future was troubled; there remained the great decline,” said the President, “ you must do it practical problem, regularly recurring, to raise in open day, for I shall not recall the nominaone hundred millions a month.

tion." “We talked about it for some time," I do not clearly see she said how it is to be decided in his refusal.”

said the President, " and he went away less done; the talent of finance in its national aspect is something entirely different from banking. Most

The nomination was instantly confirmed, bankers criticize Mr. Chase, but he has a faculty of the executive session lasting no more than a using the knowledge and experience of others to minute. It gave immediate and widespread the best advantage; that has sufficed him hitherto; satisfaction. There seemed to be no difference a point has been reached where he does not clearly of opinion in regard to Mr. Fessenden; the see what comes next, and at this point the Presi- only fear was that he would not accept. His dent allows him to step from under his load.1

first impulse was to decline; but being besieged This view of the case has a color of confir- all day by the flattering solicitations of his mation in a passage of the diary of Mr. Chase friends, it was impossible for him to persist in of the 30th of June, which goes to show at refusing. The President was equally surprised least a mixed motive in his resignation. After and gratified at the enthusiastic and general his resignation had been accepted, Mr. Hooper approval the nomination had met with. He

said : i J. H., Diary. 2 Chase, Diary. Warden, “ Life of S. P. Chase,” It is very singular, considering that this appoint


If you


ment is so popular when made, that no one ever

P. 618.


confidence to him and their support. Perhaps they will do more than they otherwise would to sustain him, in order to show how much better a Secretary he is than I was.

Before Mr. Fessenden accepted his appointment he called on Mr. Chase and conversed fully with him on the subject. Mr. Chase frankly and cordially advised him to accept, telling him that all the great work of the Department was now fairly blocked out and in progress, that the organization was all planned and in many ways complete, and all in a state which admitted of completion. His most difficult task would be to provide money. “But he would have advantages,” said Mr. Chase, “which I had not. Those to whom I had given offense would have no cause of ill-will against my successor, and would very probably come to his support with zeal increased by their ill-will to me; so that my damage would be to his advantage, especially with a certain class of capitalists and bankers.”

The entries in Mr. Chase's diary continue (AFTER A PHOTOGRAPH BY BRADY.)

for several days in the same strain. He conmentioned his name to me for that place. Think- gratulates himself on his own integrity; he ing over the matter, two or three points occurred to speaks with severity of the machinations of me : first, his thorough acquaintance with the busi- imaginary enemies. On the 2d of July he reness; as chairman of the Senate Committee of marks the passage of the bill giving the SecreFinance he knows as much of this special subject as Mr. Chase ; he possesses a national reputation and tary of the Treasury control over trade in the the confidence of the country; he is a radical with rebel States and authority to lease abandoned out the petulant and vicious fretfulness of many property and to care for the freedmen, and adds: radicals. "There are reasons why this appointment “ How much good I expected to accomplish ought to be very agreeable to him. For some time under this bill! Will my successor do this past he has been running in rather a pocket of bad work ? I fear not. He had not the same heart luck; the failure to renominate Mr. Hamlin makes for this measure that I had.” On the Fourth possible a contest between him and the Vice-Presi- of July the ringing of bells, the firing of candent, the most popular man in Maine, for the election which is now imminent. A little while ago in non, and the snapping of crackers awoke him the Senate you know Trumbull told him his ill- to the reflection that “if the Government had temper had left him no friends, but this sudden been willing to do justice, and had used its vast and most gratifying manifestation of good feeling powers with equal energy and wisdom, the over his appointment, his instantaneous confirma- struggle might have been happily terminated tion, the earnest entreaties of everybody that he long ago." Later in the same day Mr. Fesshould accept, cannot but be very grateful to his senden came to see him, and informed him feelings.

that he had been discussing with the President Mr. Chase left a full record in his diaries the subject of appointments in the Treasury and letters of the sense of injury and wrong Department, and that Mr. Lincoln had redone him by the President. He especially re- quested him not to remove any friends of sented the President's reference to the “em- Governor Chase unless there should be a real barrassment in our official relations.” “ I had necessity for it. Mr. Chase persuaded himfound a good deal of embarrassment from self that if the President had spoken to him in him,” he said; “ but what he had found from that tone he would have withdrawn his resigme I could not imagine, unless it has been nation. caused by my unwillingness to have offices dis

Why did he not? [he mused.] I can see but one tributedas spoils or benefits. . . . Hehas never reason that I am too earnest, too antislavery, and given me the active and earnest support I was say too radical, to make him willing to have me entitled to.” After Mr. Fessenden was ap- connected with the Administration : just as my pointed, the ex-Secretary entered in his diary opinion that he is not earnest enough, not antihis approval of the selection:

slavery enough, not radical enough, but goes natu

rally with those hostile to me, rather than with He has the confidence of the country, and many me, makes me willing and glad to be disconnected who have become inimical to me will give their from it.




How far his animosity against the President would be "a cruel and an astounding breach of had misled this able, honest, pure, and other- faith.” But after all these expressions of that wise sagacious man may be seen in one single petulant injustice which was only a foible in a phrase. Referring to the President's refusal to noble character, the greatest financial Secresign the reconstruction bill, he put down his tary which the country had known since Hamdeliberate opinion that neither the President ilton had a perfect right, in laying down the nor his chief advisers had abandoned the idea high office he had borne with such integrity of possible reconstruction with slavery; and and such signal success, to indulge in the medithis in spite of the President's categorical state- tation which we find in his diary of June 30: ment, “While I remain in my present position I shall not attempt to retract or modify the dations. Nothing but wise legislation and especially

So my official life closes. I have laid broad founEmancipation Proclamation, nor shall I return bold yet judicious provision of taxes, with fair to slavery any person who is free by the terms of economy in administration, and energetic yet pruthat proclamation or by any of the acts of Con- dent military action, seems necessary to ingress," and of his declaration that such action sure complete success.

[blocks in formation]

HE word “desert " is used, in the Nature's commissaries sent from the moun

West, to describe alike lands in tains to the relief of the plains; but they which the principle of life, if it scamper like pickpockets. They make away ever existed, is totally extinct, with the stores they were charged to distriband those other lands which are ute. They hurry along, making the only merely "thirsty."

sound to be heard for miles in those vacant West of the Missouri there are immense, lands which they have defrauded. Year by sad provinces devoted to drought. They lie year, or century by century, they plow out beneath skies that are pitilessly clear. The their barren channels: gradually they sink, great snow-fields, the treasury of waters, are beyond any possibility of fulfilling their misfar away, and the streams which should con- sion. Now and then one will dig for itself vey the treasure are often many days' jour- a grave in the desert, bury its mouth in the neys apart. These wild water-courses are sand, and be known as a "lost” river.

« AnkstesnisTęsti »