Salmon P. Chase

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Salmon Portland Chase was a judge and politician in the United States. He was the United States’ 25th Secretary of the Treasury under President Abraham Lincoln. He put the National Banking Act into place when he was Secretary of the Treasury. He helped set up a national bank and made paper money available for the first time, which gave the federal government more power. He was the 23rd Governor of Ohio and the sixth Chief Justice of the United States. He was a strict abolitionist who started out as a lawyer who often defended escaped black slaves. He was known as “the attorney general for fugitive slaves” because of this. He used to be a Whig, but he helped start the anti-slavery “Liberty Party” and stayed in charge of it. He was involved in many reform movements, such as those that worked to end slavery. After the Mexican War, he helped start the “Free Soil Party” and came up with the party’s slogan, “Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men.” He was also a U.S. Senator from Ohio. While he was in office, he fought against laws like the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Compromise of 1850, which he thought would hurt freedom and liberty. Appeal of the Independent Democrats, a document he wrote with Joshua Giddings and that was signed by many well-known American politicians, was a classic way to protest the spread of slavery.

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Early years and childhood

Salmon Portland Chase was born in Cornish, New Hampshire, on January 13, 1808. His parents were Ithamar Chase and Janet Ralston.
Salmon’s father died in 1817, leaving his wife and ten kids with not much money.

He went to school for his first few years in Windsor, Vermont, and then went to school in Worthington, Ohio.
From 1820 to 1824, he lived in Ohio with his uncle Bishop Philander Chase, who was a well-known member of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Dudley Chase, his other uncle, was a U.S. Senator from Vermont.

In 1822, he went to college at Cincinnati. After that, he went to Dartmouth College and got his degree there in 1826. He worked as a teacher at the “Royalton Academy” in Royalton, Vermont, while he was at Dartmouth.

He moved to Washington, D.C., where he became the headmaster of a school and studied law with U.S. Attorney General William Wirt. In 1829, he was given the right to be a lawyer.

Salmon Case’s Career

In 1830, he went to Cincinnati to start working as a lawyer. As an anti-slavery lawyer, he quickly became a well-known figure in Cincinnati. He put out an annotated version of the laws of Ohio that was used as a standard for a long time.

At the beginning of his career, he was a lawyer for the “American Sunday School Union,” where he often defended escaped slaves.
Several things that happened during the Cincinnati Riots of 1836, like the attack on Games G. Birney’s press, had a big effect on him. As a result, he became involved in anti-slavery movements.

In the case, Jones v. Van Zandt, which was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, his argument about the constitutionality of laws about fugitive slaves got a lot of attention. He said that the Constitution makes it clear that the federal government does not have the power to set up slavery anywhere. He argued that a person is no longer a slave of a state once he or she leaves the state’s control.

As a member of the Whig party, he was chosen for the Cincinnati City Council in 1840. He left the Whig party the very next year.
He was the leader of the “Liberty Party” in Ohio for seven years after helping to start it. He wrote the national Liberty platform in 1843 and the Liberty address in 1845.

As the leader of the “Liberty Party,” he tried to get the “Liberty Party” and the “Van Buren Democrats” or “Barnburners” to join together to form the “Free Soil Party.”
He came up with the Free-Soil platform. In 1848, he played a key role in getting Van Buren nominated for President.

On March 4, 1849, he joined Free Soil and became a U.S. Senator from Ohio. Until March 3, 1855, he was a Senator. During that time, he pushed for anti-slavery movements and tried to get the Northern Democrats to oppose expanding slavery.

He was against the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Compromise of 1850, which he thought would hurt freedom and liberty.
The “Republic Party” was made when he tried to bring together the failing Whig Party and the anti-slavery Democrats.

The Appeal of the Independent Democrats in Congress to the People of the United States, which came out on January 24, 1854, was one of the first things the “Republic Party” said. It was written by him and Joshua Giddings.
In 1855, he was elected as Ohio’s first Republican governor. From January 14, 1856, until January 9, 1860, he was governor. During that time, he worked for prison reform, public education, and women’s rights.

In 1860, he tried to get the Republican nomination for the presidency. He didn’t get much support because he was against a “protective tariff” that many Republicans liked. Also, the Republicans who used to be Whigs didn’t like how he worked with the Democrats. At the 1860 Republican National Convention, he lost to Abraham Lincoln.

On March 4, 1861, he was elected as a U.S. Senator for the “Republican Party,” but he quit after only three days to become President Abraham Lincoln’s “Secretary of the Treasury.” From March 7, 1861, to June 30, 1864, he was “Secretary of the Treasury.”

He was a member of the “Peace Convention” in Washington, D.C., in 1861. Salmon Portland Chase was asked to design the greenback demand note, which was the first U.S. federal currency note. His picture was on a lot of paper money.

In 1864, he was able to get the words “In God, We Trust” put on U.S. coins.

After Chief Justice Roger B. Taney died in October 1864, Abraham Lincoln suggested that Salmon P. Chase might be the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Lincoln put Chase’s name forward on December 6, 1864. On that same day, the Senate agreed with his name. From December 6, 1864, until he died, he was Chief Justice. Roger B. Taney supported slavery, but as Chief Justice, he let African-American lawyer John Rock into the court.

In 1868, when President Andrew Johnson was on trial for impeachment, he was the Chief Justice and ran the trial. In the same year, he didn’t get the Democratic nomination for president.

In 1871, he agreed with the Ohio Democratic Party leader Clement Vallandigham’s “New Departure” policy.
In 1872, he helped start the “Liberal Republican Party,” but he didn’t get the party’s nomination for president.

Works of note

During his time as “Secretary of the Treasury” during the Civil War, he put the National Banking Act into place. He was a big part of starting a national bank and giving people paper money.

Changes to American financial policy made sure that there would be a market for government bonds that could be used to help the war effort. In 1862, he and “Jay Cooke & Company” sold $500 million worth of government war bonds. He made the “Bureau of Internal Revenue” so that taxes could be collected. Later, it became known as the “Internal Revenue Service.”

Personal History and Legacies

Salmon Portland Chase got married to Catherine Garniss in the year 1834. In 1835, Catherine died while giving birth to her first child. After she died, he became more spiritual and joined different groups that worked to end slavery.
He was an active member of the “St. Paul Episcopal Cathedral” in Cincinnati.

He married Eliza Smith in 1839, and they had three children together. She died in 1845 because she had TB.
He got married to Sarah Bella Dunlap Ludlow in the year 1846. On January 13, 1852, she passed away.
He had a lot of children, but only two of them grew up.

He died in New York City on May 7, 1873, after having a stroke. He was first buried in Washington, D.C.’s “Oak Hill Cemetery.” Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio, is where he will be laid to rest.

Estimated Net worth

Salmon is on the list of the most popular and wealthiest Supreme Court Justice. Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider all say that Salmon P. Chase has a net worth of about $1.5 million.


The Chase National Bank, which opened on September 12, 1877, was named after him. Later, the bank merged with the “Bank of the Manhattan Company” to form what is now called the “Chase Manhattan Bank.” The “Chase Manhattan Bank” merged again with “JPMorgan & Co.” and is now called “JP Morgan Chase.”

The place where he was born was named a National Historic Landmark in 1975.
His picture is on the United States $10,000 bill, which is the largest denomination of American money.

Many places and institutions including Chase City, Virginia, ‘Salmon P. Chase College of Law’ at the ‘Northern Kentucky University’ and ‘Chase Hall’ at ‘Harvard Business School’ were named after him.