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Salmon Chase

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• Civil War
Abraham Lincoln
Republican Party
George McClellan
Joseph Hooker
Roger Taney
• Petersburg
Cold Harbor

Definition: Lincoln's Secretary of the Treasury. Trained as a lawyer, he defended many runaway slaves and was himself a leader of the antislavery movement. He began his political career as a Senator from Ohio and later served as governor of his home state. He was a founder of the Republican Party and sought its presidential nomination several times. He so wanted to be president that he attempted to secure the Democratic nomination in 1872. As Lincoln's main money man, he kept the national finances afloat through adept money-raising and balancing the needs of the nation (and the war) against the needs of the nation's creditors. Chase's main method of money-raising was war bonds, of which more than $2 billion worth were during the Civil War. He also issued "greenbacks," paper money unsecured by gold backing. He also pushed through the National Bank Act of 1863, which gave the country its first national currency. He was an outspoken critic of General George McClellan, preferring Joseph Hooker. He served as Chief Justice of the United States from 1864 to 1873, replacing Roger Taney.

Related Resources:
The Civil War
The Civil War was one of the most devastating events in American History. Read about the causes, see the heroes, and share the horror. Start here.

Elsewhere on the Web:
Salmon P. Chase Biography
More about the Treasury Secretary and chief justice.

More on Salmon Chase
Includes primary sources.

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