England and our Finances in the War—President Wheelock and Mr. Chase's seven Uncles—His Uncle the Bishop—His sense of Justice at College—His Uncle the Senator—Admitted to the Bar for Cincinnati—His First Argument before a U. S. Court—Society in Cincinnati—The Ohio Abolitionists—Cincinnati on Slavery—The Church admits Slavery to be "an Evil"—Mr. Chase and the Birney Mob—The Case of the Slave Girl Matilda—How Mr. Chase "Ruined Himself"—He Affirms the Sectionality of Slavery—The Van Zandt Case—Extracts from Mr. Chase's Argument—Mr. Chase in Anti-Slavery Politics—His Qualifications as a Financier.

When a future generation shall be building the tombs of our present prophets, and adorning the halls of the Capitol with the busts of men now too hard at work to be sitting to the sculptor, then there will be among the marble throng one head not inferior to any now there in outside marks of greatness—a head to which our children shall point and say, "There is the financier who carried our country through the great slavery war!"

Not a small thing that to say of any man; for this war has been on a scale of magnitude before unheard of in the history of wars. It has been, so to speak, a fabulous war, a war of a tropical growth, a war to other wars, like the great Californian pine to the bramble of the forest. A thousand miles of frontier to be guarded, fleets to be created, an army to be organized and constantly renewed on a scale of numbers beyond all European experience—an army, too, for the most part, of volunteer citizens accustomed to generous diet, whose camp fare has been kept at a mark not inferior to the average of living among citizens at home. And all this was to be effected in no common times. It was to be done amid the revolutions of business, the disturbances of trade and manufacture, then turning into new courses; and above all, the breaking up of the whole system of cotton agriculture, by which the greatest staple of the world was produced. These changes convulsed and disarranged financial relations in all other countries, and shook the civilized world like an earthquake.

It is not to be wondered at that a merely insular paper, like the London Times, ignorant of all beyond the routine of British and continental probabilities, should have declared us madmen, and announced our speedy bankruptcy. We all know that paper to be conducted by the best of old world ability, and are ready to concede that the grave writers therein used their best light, and certainly they did their best to instruct us. How paternally did it warn us that we must not look to John Bull for funds to carry out such extravagances! How ostentatiously did the old banking houses stand buttoning their pockets, saying, "Don't come to us to borrow money!" and how did the wonder grow when the sun rose and set, and still new levies, new fleets, new armies!—when hundreds of thousands grew to millions, and still there was no call for foreign money, and government stocks stood in the market above all others in stability.

One thing, at least, became plain; that whatever might be the case with the army, financially the American people had a leader who united them to a man, and under whose guidance the vast material resources of the country moved in solid phalanx to support its needs.

When a blade does good service, nothing is more natural than to turn and read upon it the stamp that tells where and by whom it was fashioned; and so when we see the quiet and serenity in which our country moved on under its burdens, we ask, Whence comes this man who has carried us so smoothly in such a storm?

America is before all other things an agricultural country, and her aristocracy, whether of talent or wealth, generally trace back their origin to a farm. The case of Secretary Chase is no exception.

It is one of the traditions of Dartmouth College that old President Wheelock, in one of his peregrinations, once stopped in the town of Cornish, N. H.; a place where the Connecticut river flows out from the embrace of the White Mountains. Here he passed a night at a farm-house, the dwelling of Samuel Chase, a patriarchal farmer, surrounded by seven sons, as fine, strong and intelligent as those of Jesse of Old Testament renown. The President used his visit to plead the cause of a college education for these fine youths to such good purpose, that five of the boys, to wit: Salmon, Baruch, Heber, Dudley and Philander became graduates of Dartmouth College. Two remained to share the labors of the farm, one of whom was the father of Secretary Chase.

All the boys thus educated attained more than the average mark in society, and some to the highest distinction. Dudley Chase was one of the most distinguished lawyers and politicians of New England—a member of the United States Senate, and for many years Chief Justice of Vermont. It is said that he was so enthusiastic a classical scholar that he carried a Greek Homer and Demosthenes always in his pocket, for his recreation in intervals of public business. He lived to a patriarchal age, an object of universal veneration.

Salmon Chase, another brother, was a lawyer in Portland, the acknowledged leader of that distinguished bar. He died suddenly, while pleading in court, in 1806, and in memorial of him our Secretary received the name of Salmon Portland, at his birth, which occurred in 1808. The youngest of the graduates, Philander Chase, was the well-known Episcopal Bishop of Ohio and Illinois. He was the guardian under whose auspices the education of Salmon P. Chase was conducted.

In regard to Chase's early education, we have not many traditions. His parents were of the best class of New Hampshire farmers; Bible-reading, thoughtful, shrewd, closely and wisely economical. It is said that in that region literary material was so scarce that the boy's first writing lessons were taken on strips of birch bark.

When his father died, there was found to be little property for the support of the family, and only the small separate estate of his mother was left. She was of Scotch blood—that blood which is at once shrewd, pious, courageous and energetic, and was competent to make a little serve the uses of a great deal.

But an education, and a college education, is the goal towards which such mothers in New England set their faces as a flint—and by infinite savings and unknown economies they compass it.

When Chase was fourteen years old, his uncle, the Bishop, offered to take and educate him, and he went to Ohio along with an elder brother who was attached to Gen. Cass's expedition to the upper waters of the Mississippi.

While at Buffalo the seniors of the party made an excursion to Niagara, but had no room in their vehicle for the boy. Young Chase, upon this, with characteristic energy, picked up another boy who wanted to see the falls, and the two enterprising young gentlemen footed it through the snow for twenty miles, and saw the falls in company with their elders.

He remained two years with the Bishop, who was a peremptory man, and used his nephew as he did himself and everybody else about him, that is, made him work just as hard as he could.

The great missionary Bishop had so much to do, and so little to do it with, that he had to make up for lack of money by incessant and severe labor, and with such help as he could get. His nephew being his own flesh and blood, he felt perhaps at liberty to drive a little more sharply than the rest, as that is the form in which the family instinct shows itself in people of his character.

The Bishop supplemented his own scanty salary by teaching school and working a farm, and so Salmon's preparatory studies were seasoned with an abundance of severe labor.

The youth was near sighted, and troubled with an obstinate lisp. The former disability was incurable, but the latter he overcame by means of a long and persevering course of reading aloud.

On the whole, the Bishop seems to have thought well of his nephew, for one day in refusing him leave to go in swimming, he did so with the complimentary exclamation, "Why, Salmon, the country might lose its future President, were I to let you get drowned."

After being fitted under his uncle, Chase entered Dartmouth College.

One anecdote of Chase's college life is characteristic, as showing that courageous and steady sense of justice which formed a leading feature of his after life. One of his classmates was sentenced by the faculty to be expelled from college on a charge of which Chase knew him to be wholly innocent. Chase, after in vain arguing the case with the president, finally told him that he would go too, as he would not stay in an institution where his friends were treated with such injustice. The two youths packed up their goods and drove off. But the faculty sent word after them almost before they had got out of the village, that the sentence was rescinded and they might come back. They said, however, that they must take time to consider whether they would do so, and they took a week, having a pleasant vacation, after which they returned.

After graduating, Mr. Chase found himself dependent on his own exertions to procure his support in his law studies. He went to Washington intending to open a private school. He waited in vain for scholars till his money was gone, and then, feeling discouraged, asked his uncle the Senator to get him an office under government.

The old gentleman, who seems to have been about as stern in his manner of expressing family affection as his brother the Bishop, promptly refused:

"I'll give you half a dollar to buy you a spade to begin with," he said, "for then you might come to something at last, but once settle a young man down in a government office, he never does any thing more—it's the last you hear of him. I've ruined one or two young men in that way, and I'm not going to ruin you."

Thus with stern kindness was Chase turned off from what might have made a contented common-place man of him, and pricked up to the career which gave us a Secretary of the Treasury and a Chief Justice of the United States. He succeeded at last in obtaining the ownership of a select classical school already established, while he pursued his legal studies under the auspices of Wirt.

In 1830 he was examined for admission to the bar. At the close of the examination he was told that he had better read for another year. He replied that he could not do that, as he was all ready to commence practice in Cincinnati.

"Oh, at Cincinnati!" replied the Judge, as if any law or no law was enough for such a backwoods settlement—"well then, Mr. Clerk, swear in Mr. Chase."

His early days of legal practice, like those of most young lawyers, were days of waiting and poverty. The only professional work he did for a considerable time was to draw an agreement for a man, who paid him half a dollar, and a week afterwards came and borrowed it back. In one of his early cases he had occasion to prove the bad character of a witness who was on the other side, on which the fellow, who was a well known rough, threatened to "have his blood," and undertook to assault him. But as the rowdy came up at the close of the court, he met so quiet and stern a look from Mr. Chase's eyes that he turned and sneaked off without opening his mouth or raising his hand.

Mr. Chase's first argument before a United States Court was at Columbus, O., in 1834. The case was to him a very important one, and when he arose to make his argument he found himself so agitated that he could not utter a word. He had therefore to sit down, and after waiting a few moments, tried again, and made his plea. After he was through, one of the Judges came to him and shook hands with him, saying, "I congratulate you most sincerely." Chase, who was feeling very disagreeably, inquired with surprise what he was congratulated for?

"On your failure," answered the judge, who added, "A person of ordinary temperament and abilities would have gone through his part without any such symptoms of nervousness. But when I see a young man break down once or twice in that way, I conceive the highest hopes of him."

This may have been interpreted as a good natured attempt on the part of the Judge to reassure the young lawyer, but there is a deep and just philosophy in it. The class of men who have what Carlye calls "a composed stupidity, or a cheerful infinitude of ignorance," are not liable ever to break down through a high sense of the magnitude of their task, and the importance of a crisis. Such as their work is, they are always in a prepared frame of mind to do it.

Although the Washington judge who passed Mr. Chase into the legal profession had so small an opinion of Cincinnati, yet no place could have afforded a finer and more agreeable position to a rising young man, than that city in those days. A newly settled place, having yet lingering about it some of the wholesome neighborly spirit of a recent colony—with an eclectic society drawn from the finest and best cultivated classes of each of the older States, there was in the general tone of life a breadth of ideas, a liberality and freedom, which came from the consorting together of persons of different habits of living.

In no city was real intellectual or moral worth in a young candidate likely to meet a quicker and a more appreciative patronage.

Gradually Mr. Chase gained the familiar entrée of all that was worth knowing, and was received with hospitable openness in the best society. His fine person, his vigorous, energetic appearance, and the record of talent and scholarship he brought with him, secured him, in time the patronage of the best families, and a valuable and extensive practice. His industry was incessant, and his capability of sustained labor uncommon, as may be gathered from the fact that besides the labors of his office, he found time to prepare an edition of the Statutes of Ohio, with notes, and a history of the State, which is now a standard authority in the Ohio courts.

In the outset of Chase's career, he, like Charles Sumner, and every rising young American of his time, met the great test question of the age. To Chase it came in the form of an application to plead the cause of a poor black woman, claimed as a fugitive slave. For a rising young lawyer to take in hand the cause of a poor black, now, would be only a road to popularity and fame. But then the case was far otherwise.

If the abolition excitement had stirred up Boston it had convulsed Cincinnati. A city separated from slave territory only by a fordable river, was likely to be no quiet theatre for such discussions. All the horrors, all the mean frauds and shocking cruelties of the interstate slave-trade, were enacting daily on the steamboats which passed before the city on the Ohio River, and the chained gangs of broken-hearted human beings, torn from home and family, to be shipped to Southern plantations, were often to be seen on steamboats lying at the levee.

The chapter in Uncle Tom's Cabin called "Select Incidents of Lawful Trade" was no fancy painting. It was an almost literal daguerreotype of scenes which the author of that book had witnessed in those floating palaces which plied between Cincinnati and New Orleans, and where too, above in the cabin, were happy mothers, wives, husbands, brothers and sisters, rejoicing in secure family affection, and on the deck below, miserable shattered fragments of black families, wives torn from husbands, children without mothers and mothers without children, with poor dumb anxious faces going they knew not whither, to that awful "down river"—whence could come back letter or tidings never more—for slavery took care that slaves should write no letters.

Such scenes as these, almost daily witnessed, gave the discussion of the great question of slavery a startling and tangible reality which it never could have had in Boston. For the credit of human nature we are happy to state that the Ohio was lined all along its shores, where it ran between free and slave territory, with a chain of abolitionist forts, in the shape of societies prosecuting their object with heroic vigor; and what made the controversy most peculiarly intense was the assistance which these abolitionists stood always ready to give to the escaping fugitive. For a belt of as much as fifty miles all along the river, the exertions of the abolitionists made slave property the most insecure of all kinds of possessions.

The slave power, as we have seen, was no meek non-resistant, and between it and the abolitionists there was a hand-to-hand grapple, with a short knife, and deadly home thrusts. The western man is in all things outspoken and ardent; and Garrison's logical deductions as to the true nature of slavery came molten and red hot, as fired from the guns of western abolitionists. To do them justice, they were sublimely and awfully imprudent, heroically regardless of any considerations but those of abstract truth and justice; they made no more effort to palliate slavery or conciliate the slaveholders than the slaveholders made efforts to palliate their doings, or conciliate them. War, war to the knife, was the word on both sides, the only difference being that the knife of the abolitionist was a spiritual one, and the knife of the slaveholders a literal one.

The Lane Theological Seminary was taken possession of as an anti-slavery fortification by a class of about twenty vigorous, radical young men, headed by that brilliant, eccentric genius, Theodore D. Weld; who came and stationed themselves there ostensibly as theological students under Dr. Beecher and Professor Stowe, really that they might make of the Seminary an anti-slavery fort.

Now at this time, "good society," so called, as constituted in Cincinnati, had all that easy, comfortable indifference to the fortunes and sufferings of people not so well off as itself, which is characteristic of good society all the world over. It is so much easier to refine upon one's own ideal of life, to carpet one's floors, and list one's doors and windows and keep out the cold, stormy wind of debate and discussion, than it is to go out into the highways and hedges and keep company with the never-ending sins and miseries and misfortunes and mistakes of poor, heavy-laden humanity, that good society always has sat as a dead weight on any rising attempt at reform.

Then again, Cincinnati was herself to a large extent a slaveholding city. Her property was in slaveholding states. Negroes were negotiable currency; they were collateral security on half the contracts that were at the time being made between the thriving men of Cincinnati and the planters of the adjoining slave states. If the bold doctrine of the abolitionists was true—if slavery was stealing, then were the church members in the fairest Cincinnati churches thieves—for in one way or another, they were to a large extent often the holders of slaves.

The whole secret instinct of Cincinnati, therefore, was to wish that slavery might in some way be defended, because Cincinnati stood so connected with it in the way of trade, that conscientious scruples on this point were infinitely and intolerably disagreeable. The whirlwind zeal of the abolitionists, the utter, reckless abandon and carelessness of forms and fashions with which they threw themselves into the fight, therefore furnished to good society a cloak large and long, for all their own sins of neglect. They did not defend slavery, of course, these good people—in fact, they regarded it as an evil. They were properly and decorously religious—good society always is, and so willing in presbytery and synod to have judiciously worded resolutions from time to time introduced, regretting slavery as an evil. The meetings of ecclesiastical bodies afforded at this time examples of most dexterous theological hair-splitting on this subject. Invariably in every one of them, were the abolitionists forward and fiery, calling slavery by that ugly old Saxon word, "a sin." Then there were the larger class of brethren, longing for peace, and hating iniquity, who had sympathy for the inevitable difficulties which beset well-meaning Christian slaveholders under slave laws. Now if these consented to call slavery a sin, they imposed on themselves the necessity of either enforcing immediate repentance and change of life on the sinner, or excluding him from the communion. So they obstinately intrenched themselves in the declaration that slavery is—an EVIL.

When a synod had spent all its spare time in discussing whether slavery ought to be described in a resolution as an evil or as a moral evil, they thought they had about done their share of duty on the subject; meanwhile, between the two, the consciences of those elders and church members who were holding slaves on bond and mortgage, or sending down orders to sell up the hands of plantations as securities for their debts, had a certain troublous peace.

How lucky it was for these poor tempest-tossed souls that the abolitionists were so imprudent and hot headed, that they wore garments of camel's hair, and were girt about the loins with a leathern girdle, and did eat locusts and wild honey, being altogether an unpresentable, shaggy, unkempt, impracticable set of John the Baptist reformers. Their unchristian spirit shocked the nerves of good pious people far more than the tearing up of slave families, or the wholesale injustice of slavery. "The abolitionists do things in such bad taste," said good society, "that it really makes it impossible for us to touch the subject at all, lest we should become mixed up with them, and responsible for their proceedings." To become mixed up with and responsible for the proceedings of slaveholders, slave-traders, and slave-drivers, who certainly exhibited no more evidences of good taste in their manner of handling subjects, did not somehow strike good society at this time as equally objectionable.

It had got to be a settled and received doctrine that the impudent abolitionists had created such a state of irritation in the delicate nerves of the slaveholding power, that all good Christian people were bound to unite in a general effort to calm irritation by suppressing all discussion of the subject.

When, therefore, James G. Birney, a southern abolitionist, who had earned a right to be heard, by first setting free his own slaves, came to Cincinnati and set up an abolition paper, there was a boiling over of the slaveholding fury. For more than a week Cincinnati lay helpless in a state of semi-sack and siege, trod under the heels of a mob led by Kentucky bullies and slave-traders. They sacked Birney's anti-slavery office, broke up his printing press and threw the types into the river, and then proceeded to burn negro houses, and to beat and maltreat defenceless women and children, after the manner of such evil beasts generally.

At the time the mob were busy destroying the printing press, Mr. Chase threw himself in among them with a view to observe, and if possible to obstruct their proceedings.

He gathered from their threats while the process of sacking the office was going on, that their next attack would be on the life of Mr. Birney. On hearing this, he hastened before them to Mr. Birney's hotel, and stood in the door-way to meet them when they came up.

No test of personal courage or manliness is greater than thus daring to stand and oppose a mob in the full flush of lawless triumph. Mr. Chase had a fine commanding person, and perfect courage and coolness, and he succeeded in keeping back the mob, by arguing with them against lawless acts of violence to persons or property, until Birney had had time to escape.

The upper ten of Cincinnati, when tranquility was once more restored to that community, were of course very much shocked and scandalized by the proceedings of the mob, but continued to assert that all these doings were the fault of the abolitionists. What could be expected if they would continue discussions which made our brethren across the river so uncomfortable? If nobody would defend the rights of negroes there would be no more negro mobs, and good society became increasingly set in the belief that speaking for the slave in any way whatever was actually to join the abolitionists, and to become in fact a radical, a disorganizer, a maker of riots and disturbances.

No young lawyer who acted merely from humane sentiment, or common good natured sympathy, would have dared at that time to plead a slave's cause against a master's claim. Then and always there were a plenty of people to feel instinctive compassion, and in fact slily to give a hunted fugitive a lift, if sure not to lose by it—but to take up and plead professionally a slave's cause against a master was a thing which no young man could do without making up his mind to be counted as one of the abolitionists, and to take upon his shoulders the whole responsibility of being identified with them.

Mr. Chase was a man particularly alive to the value of all the things which he put in peril by such a step. He had a remarkable share of what is called the "Yankee" nature, which values and appreciates material good. He had begun poor, and he knew exactly what a hard thing poverty was. He had begun at the bottom of the social ladder, and he knew exactly how hard it was to climb to a good position. He had just got such a position, and he truly appreciated it. His best patrons and warmest friends now, with earnestness warned him not to listen to the voice of his feelings, and take that course which would identify him with the fanatical abolitionists. They told him that it would be social and political death to him to take a step in that direction.

For all that, when the case of the slave girl Matilda was brought to his door he defended it deliberately, earnestly and with all his might. Of course it was decided against him, as in those days, such cases were sure to be.

As Chase left the court room after making his plea in this case, a man looked after him and said, "There goes a fine young fellow who has just ruined himself." Listening, however, to this very speech was a public man of great ability whose efforts afterwards went a long way towards making Chase United States Senator; and to-day we see that same young lawyer on the bench, Chief Justice of the United States.

The decision of Chase in this matter was not merely from the temporary impulse of kindly feelings, but from a deep political insight into the tendencies and workings of the great slave power. His large, sound, logical brain saw in the future history of that power all that it has since brought to light. He saw that the exorbitant spirit of its exactions was directed against the liberties of the free States and the principles on which free government is founded.

The plea of Chase, in this case, was the first legal break-water in Ohio to the flood of usurpation and dictation which has characterized the slaveocracy from its commencement. In this plea he took a ground then unheard of, to wit: That the phrase in the Constitution which demanded the giving up of fugitives to service on demand of masters, did not impose on the magistrates of the free States the responsibility of catching and returning slaves. He denied that Congress had any right to impose any such duties on State magistrates, or to employ State resources in any way for this purpose. This principle was afterwards recognized by the United States in the slave law of 1850, by appointing special United States Commissioners for the conducting of such cases.

From the time of this plea many of the former patrons and friends of the rising young lawyer walked no more with him; but he had taken his ground like a strong man armed, and felt well able to keep his fortress single handed till recruits should gather around him.

He was soon called on to defend James G. Birney for the crime of sheltering a fugitive slave. In this plea he asserted the great principle afterwards affirmed by Charles Sumner in Congress, that slavery is sectional and freedom national. As slavery was but a local institution, he claimed that it ceased when the slave was brought by his master to a free State. This assertion caused great excitement in a community separated from a slave State only by the Ohio, where slave masters were constantly finding it convenient to cross with their slaves, or to send them across, to the neighboring city. Of course the decision went against him. What judge who had any hopes of the presidency, or the Supreme Bench, would dare offend his southern masters by any other?

In 1846 came on the great Van Zandt case. Van Zandt was originally a thriving Kentucky farmer and slave owner. He figured in Uncle Tom's Cabin under the name of Van Tromp. He was a man who, under a shaggy exterior, had a great, kind, honest heart, and in that day, when ministers and elders were studying the Bible to find apologies for slavery, Van Zandt needed no other light than that of this same heart to teach him that it was vile and devilish, and so, setting his slaves free, he came over and bought a farm in the neighborhood of Cincinnati; and it was well known that no hungry, wandering fugitive was ever turned from Van Zandt's door. The writer has still memory of the wild night ride of husband and brother through woods, and over swelled creeks dangerous enough to cross, which carried a poor, hunted slave girl to this safe retreat. But Van Zandt was at last found out, and the slaveocrats brought suit against him. Chase and Seward defended him, and made noble pleas—pleas as much for the rights of the whites as of the blacks. Of course, like all cases of the kind at that date, the judgment had been pre-ordained before the court sat. Chase's elaborate and unanswerable argument before the United States Court, was afterward printed in a pamphlet of some three hundred and fifty octavo pages.

The opening of this great plea and its close we shall quote as best showing the solemn and earnest spirit in which this young lawyer entered upon his work.

"Mr. Chief Justice and Judges:

I beg leave to submit to your consideration an argument in behalf of an old man, who is charged, under the act of Congress of February 12, 1793, with having concealed and harbored a fugitive slave.

Oppressed, and well nigh borne down by the painful consciousness, that the principles and positions which it will be my duty to maintain, can derive no credit whatever from the reputation of the advocate, I have spared no pains in gathering around them whatever of authority and argument the most careful research and the most deliberate reflection could supply. I have sought instruction wherever I could find it; I have looked into the reported decisions of almost all the state courts, and of this court; I have examined and compared state legislation and federal; above all, I have consulted the constitution of the Union, and the history of its formation and adoption. I have done this, because I am well assured, that the issues, now presented to this court for solemn adjudication, reach to whatever is dear in constitutional liberty, and what is precious in political union. Not John Van Zandt alone—not numerous individuals only—but the States also, and the Nation itself, must be deeply affected by the decision to be pronounced in this case."

Then followed the technical and legal plea which is a most close and unanswerable legal argument, showing conclusively that under the words of the statute the defendant could not be held guilty.

After this, follows a clear and masterly argument on the unconstitutionality of the then existing fugitive slave law, of 1793. In this, Chase took with great skill, boldness, ingenuity and learning, the same course afterwards taken by Sumner in his great speech before Congress, on the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.

The conclusion is solemn and weighty—and in the light of recent events has even a prophetic power:

"Upon questions,—such as are some of those involved in this case,—which partake largely of a moral and political nature, the judgment, even of this Court, cannot be regarded as altogether final. The decision, to be made here, must, necessarily, be rejudged at the tribunal of public opinion—the opinion, not of the American People only, but of the Civilized World. At home, as is well known, a growing disaffection to the Constitution prevails, founded upon its supposed allowance and support of Human Slavery; abroad, the national character suffers under the same reproach. I most earnestly hope, and,—I trust it may not be deemed too serious to add,—I most earnestly pray, that the judgment of your honors in this case, may commend itself to the reason and conscience of Mankind; that it may rescue the Constitution from the undeserved opprobrium of lending its sanction to the idea that there may be property in men; that it may gather around that venerable charter of Republican Government the renewed affection and confidence of a generous People; and that it may win for American Institutions the warm admiration and profound homage of all, who, everywhere, love Liberty and revere Justice."

The question was decided as all such cases in those times invariably were decided.

The Judge never undertook even the form of answering the argument; never even adverted to it, but decided directly over it, with a composure worthy of a despotism. It was a decision only equalled by that of the most corrupt judges of the corrupt age of Charles II.

Honest Van Zandt was ruined, "scot and lot," by a fine so heavy that all he had in the world would not pay it, and he died broken-hearted; a solemn warning to all in his day, how they allowed themselves to practise Christian charity in a way disagreeable to the plantation despots.

As for Chase, he was undiscouraged by ill success, and shortly reaffirmed his argument and principles in the case of Driskull vs. Parish. He was at least educating the community; he was laying foundations of resistance on which walls and towers should by-and-by arise. Humanity and religion had already made the abolitionists numerically a large and active body in Ohio. They needed only a leader like Chase, of large organizing brain and solid force of combination, to shape them into a political party of great efficiency. To this end his efforts were henceforth directed. In 1841, he united in a call for an Anti-Slavery Convention in Columbus, and in this convention was organized the Liberty party of Ohio. In 1845 he projected a Southwestern Anti-Slavery Convention.

The ground taken was substantially that to which a bloody, weary experience has brought the whole nation now, to wit: "That whatever is worth preserving in republicanism can be maintained only by uncompromising war against an usurping slave-power, and that all who wish to save the nation must unite in using all constitutional measures for the extinction of slavery in their own States, and the reduction of it to constitutional limits in the United States.

This convention met in Cincinnati, in 1845, and Chase prepared the address, giving the history of slavery thus far, and showing the condition of the Whig and Democratic parties respecting it; and urging the importance of a political combination unequivocally committed to the denationalizing of slavery and the slave power. So vigorous were the tactics of this party, so strongly moving with the great central currents of God's forward providences, that in 1847 Chase was made Governor of Ohio, by the triumph of those very principles which in the outset threatened utter loss to their advocate. In 1847 he attended a second Liberty Convention; and afterwards took part in the Buffalo Convention, the celebrated Buffalo Platform being mainly his work.

In 1849, he was chosen United States Senator from Ohio, and his presence was hailed as a tower of strength to the hard fighting anti-slavery party at Washington. When, directly after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law, the Democratic party in Ohio voted for Pierce, knowing him directly committed to its enforcement, Chase withdrew from it, and addressed a letter to B. F. Butler, of New York, recommending the formation of an Independent Democratic party. He prepared a platform for this purpose, which was substantially adopted by the convention of the Independent Democracy of 1852.

And now came on the battle of Kansas and Nebraska. Chase was one of the first to awaken the people to this new danger. He, in conference with the anti-slavery men of Congress, drafted an address to the people to arouse them as to this sudden and appalling conspiracy, which was intended to seize for slavery all the unoccupied land of the United States, and turn the balance of power and numbers forever into the slaveholders' hands. It was a critical moment; there was but little time to spare; but the whole united clergy of New England, of all denominations, Catholic and Protestant, found leisure to send in their solemn protest. When that nefarious bill passed, Chase protested against it on the night of its passage, as, with threats, and oaths, and curses, it was driven through. It seems in the retrospect but a brief passage from that hour of apparent defeat to the hour which beheld Lincoln in the presidential chair and Chase, Secretary of the Treasury. His history in that position has verified the sagacity that placed him there. It has been the success of a large, sound, organizing brain, apt and skillful in any direction in which it should turn its powers. It was the well-known thrift and shrewdness of the Yankee farmer, thrift and shrewdness cultivated in years of stern wrestling with life, coming out at the head of the United States treasury in a most critical hour. No men are better to steer through exigencies than these same Yankee farmers, and it seems the savor of this faculty goes to the second and third generations.

We have said before, that if Chase made sacrifices of tangible and material present values for abstract principles, in his early days, it was not because, as is sometimes the case, he was a man merely of ideas, and destitute of practical faculties. On the contrary, the shrewd, cautious, managing, self-preserving faculties were possessed by him to a degree which caused him to be often spoken of by the familiar proverb, "a man who can make every edge cut." By nature, by descent, by hard and severe training, he was a rigid economist, and a man who might always safely be trusted to make the very most and best of a given amount of property.

It is praise enough to any financier who could take a nation in the sudden and unprepared state ours was, and could carry it along for three or four years through a war of such gigantic expenditure, to say that the country was neither ruined, beggared, nor hopelessly embarrassed, but standing even stronger when he resigned the treasury than when he took it.

His financial management was at first to raise the money needed for the war by loans, until the expenses became so great as to be beyond the capacity of the specie in the country. Then, still adhering to the principle of raising the means for the war within the United States, he introduced the legal tender paper currency, and by providing that it should be a necessary basis for banking operations, he shrewdly placed the whole banking capital of the United States in a position where it must live or die with the country. This not only provided funds, but made every dollar of money act as a direct stimulus to the patriotism of those who supplied it.

On June 30, 1864, Chase resigned his position in the treasury. That Providence which has ordained so many striking and peculiar instances of victory and reward for men who espoused the cause of humanity in its dark hours, had also one for Chase.

Oct. 12, 1864, by the death of Taney, the Chief Justiceship of the United States Supreme Court became vacant, and Lincoln expressed the sense of the whole American people in calling Chase to fill that venerable office.

The young lawyer, who without name or prestige, dared to put in pleas for the poorest of his brethren, when the slave power was highest and haughtiest, and whose pleas were overruled with the most chilling contempt, now by God's providence holds that supreme position on the national bench from which, let us trust, the oppressor and the tyrant have faded away forever!

H. Wilson

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