Salmon P. Chase, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, 6th Chief Justice of the United States

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Salmon Portland Chase

Birthplace: Cornish, Sullivan, New Hampshire, United States
Death: May 07, 1873 (65)
New York, New York, United States
Place of Burial: Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Ithamar Chase and Janette Chase
Husband of Katherine Jane Chase; Eliza Ann Chase and Sarah Bella Dunlop Chase
Father of Kate Chase; Lizzie Chase; Lizzie Chase; Janet Ralston Hoyt and Josephine Ludlow Chase
Brother of Alexander Ralston Chase

Managed by: Private User
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About Salmon P. Chase, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, 6th Chief Justice of the United States

Salmon Portland Chase (January 13, 1808 – May 7, 1873) was an American politician and jurist who served as U.S. Senator from Ohio and the 23rd Governor of Ohio; as U.S. Treasury Secretary under President Abraham Lincoln; and as the sixth Chief Justice of the United States.

Chase was one of the most prominent members of the new Republican Party before becoming Chief Justice. Chase articulated the "Slave Power conspiracy" thesis well before Lincoln. He coined the slogan of the Free Soil Party, "Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men." He devoted his energies to the destruction of what he considered the Slave Power – the conspiracy of Southern slave owners to seize control of the federal government and block the progress of liberty.

Salmon P. Chase Birthplace was the birthplace and childhood home of Salmon P. Chase.

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1975.

It is located about 8 miles north of Claremont on New Hampshire Route 12A.


Salmon P. Chase, Lawyer, United States Senator from Ohio, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, and eighteenth governor elected by the people of Ohio. He was born at Cornish, New Hampshire, January l3th, 1808, and died in New York City, May 7th, 1873. In 1815 his father removed his family to Keene, New Hampshire, where his son subsequently enjoyed the advantages of a good common school education, and being by his uncle, Bishop Chase, invited to do so went to Worthington, Ohio, there pursued his studies and was, under his uncle's direction, prepared to enter college. He then returned to New England, and entered the junior class of Dartmouth College, from which he graduated in 1826. Having also an uncle in the United States Senate, he then went to Washington City, and there opened a private classical school. Mr. Chase exerted himself anew, and obtained the patronage of Henry Clay, Samuel L. Southard, and William Wirt, whose sons were entrusted to his tuition, and during the time not thus occupied he, under the direction of the latter gentleman, engaged in the study of law. In 1829 having, as he believed, completed his law studies, he was examined and admitted to practice, upon informing the presiding judge that he had arranged to engage in practice in Cincinnati. In 1834 he became solicitor in Cincinnati for the Bank of the United States, and shortly afterward obtained the same position for one of the city banks, also. In 1837 he distinguished himself by his defense of a colored woman who was brought by her master into the State, and escaped from his possession. His defense of this case gave Mr. Chase some prominence as an abolitionist, and this character was confirmed by his subsequent defense in the supreme court of Ohio of James G. Birney, who had been indicted for harboring a fugitive slave. Mr. Chase in such defense took the same ground he did in the previous action, viz: that slavery was local and dependent upon State laws for its existence, and the master of a slave having brought such slave into a free state voluntarily, thereby made such slave, ipso facto, free. In 1846, associated with the Hon. W. H. Seward, Mr. Chase defended Van Zandt before the Supreme Court of the United States, and in doing so much more boldly and effectively emphasized his opinion that under the act of 1797 no fugitive from service could be reclaimed in Ohio unless such slave had escaped from one of the original thirteen States whose representatives in Congress had enacted that organic law; that it was the clear understanding of the framers of that document that slavery should be left exclusively to the disposal of the several States, and in view of which understanding seven of those thirteen States had forever removed slavery from, and no slave could then be found in them; and, finally, that the clause in the Constitution relating to persons held to service was one that conferred no power upon Congress, and was never understood to confer any. On the 22d February 1849, Mr. Chase, by a combination of the democratic members of the Ohio legislature who favored him and the free soilers, was elected United States Senator. At the Baltimore democratic convention in 1852, by approving the compromise acts, including the fugitive slave law of 1850, and denouncing the further discussion of the slavery question. It was upon this platform Mr. Pierce was elected, and the democrats of Ohio having, we say, joined in its adoption, Mr. Chase withdrew from their ranks, advocated the organization of an independent democratic party, and drafted a declaration of principles for such party, which was substantially the same year adopted by the Pittsburgh convention of independent democrats. During the remainder of his term in the Senate he aimed to divorce effectively the Federal government from its patronage of and all connection with slavery, and guarantee freedom and the enjoyment of human rights to all conditions of the inhabitants of the free States. He also urged government aid for the construction of the trans- continental railway, and the safer navigation of the great lakes. By such advocacy and his consistent course he increased his constituents, and in 1855 he was nominated and elected governor of Ohio by the opponents of the Pierce administration. In 1856, at his request, his name was not put in nomination for the Presidency, and in l857 he was re-elected governor of Ohio by the largest vote ever polled in the State. Called by President Lincoln to his cabinet in March 1861, he was made Secretary of the Treasury, and performed the duties of the office with much ability during the following years until July 1864, when, having tendered his resignation, he withdrew to private life. Four months afterward, the death of Chief Justice Taney made vacant the first position on the supreme bench of the United States court, and the name of Mr. Chase being sent by the President to the Senate, he was confirmed and invested with the office of Chief Justice. He confined himself until his death to the duties of his office as Chief Justice. The most distinguished and beneficent feature of his term of office as Secretary of the Treasury was, in his capacity of lawyer, originating, drafting, and recommending the passage of the bill that in 1863 became a law for the conversion of State and all other forms of chartered banks of issue into National banks, and under which the government of the United States became responsible for their circulation by the deposit as security of United States bonds to cover the total amount of such circulation, plus ten per cent. Although earnestly opposed by bankers at the time of its discussion, the advantage of this change in the character of their security as banks of issue was subsequently freely acknowledged; and, long before his death,Chief Justice Chase had the satisfaction of knowing that the advantages of this law to the people of the United States were unparalleled by any monetary measure ever enacted, as by it the money or its representative bank bills, constituting about one-half of the currency of the nation, was made uniform and of exactly the same face value in every part of the United States.

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Salmon P. Chase, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, 6th Chief Justice of the United States's Timeline

January 13, 1808
Cornish, Sullivan, New Hampshire, United States
August 13, 1840
Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, United States
Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, United States
September 19, 1847
Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio, United States
July 3, 1849
May 7, 1873
Age 65
New York, New York, United States