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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE
To Edward L. Pierce.
WASHINGTON, Jan'y 17, 1864.
MY DEAR SIR: I thank you
for little note and for your kind appreciation of my wishes rather than my successes in a whether St. Louis or Cincinnati
is uncertain. Mr. Pieree was laterin Chase's law office in Cincinnati. serving you. I am glad you
are in Cincinnati, for you are almost the only man in Ohio to whom I confidently look for a real appreciation and sympathy with my views and plans for the advancement of our great and noble cause. The notions of so many are contracted - their aspirations so low - their sympathies so phlegmatic - and what might else be in them noble and generous so turned awry, dwarfed and cramped by the incessant claims of mere business, or the debasing influences of party that I sometimes feel as if I hardly knew where to look for a genuine, whole man on whom I can confidently lean. May I not hope to find such a one in you?
And now with this preface I shall ask you, at once, for a little service. I want you to become acquainted with the conductors of the Times and the Columbian; ascertain their tendencies, and see whether they are not willing to render me some justice.
About everything I have done for Ohio and the West has been positively ignored. I, first, introduced a successful motion for Custom Houses, including apartments for Post Office, Courts, etc. etc. The precedent which I established in the cases of Cincinnati & St. Louis has been followed at other points and now the West begins to receive some share of the Public Expenditures in these respects. I, first, introduced and carried through the Senate a proposition to cede to Ohio the Public Lands within her limits. It failed in the House, no Ohio member taking enough interest in it to secure for it even a fair hearing. Again I introduced the bill in a modified form last session. But the session being short and business crowded & the Committee reluctant, I did not get it through the Senate. I have again introduced the same measure this Session and shall I think get it through. I have a favorable report made yesterday. It now includes all the Lands in the Va. Mil. District, which, under an amendment which I had inserted in a Bill relating to Va. Mil. Scrip, were relieved from the trust in favor of Virginia. Again I introduced and carried through the propositions which have initiated the Pacific Railroad. I might go on; but I won't weary you. Who, in Ohio, knows what I have done? Never, it seems to me, has a man who was earnestly laboring to accomplish practical good, been more poorly sustained.
I confess it galls me to read such a paragraph as the following from the Chillicothe Advertiser of the 13th inst. [newspaper clipping] "We hope the Legislature of Ohio will elect a Democrat Senator who will give character and importance to the State in the United States Senate. It is undoubtedly useless to express such a hope, for we believe the men of that body to be men who will so act, without reference to personal feelings or outside appliances, as will, in their judgments, conduce, in the largest degree, to the honor of the State and the glory of the Democratic party."
The implication that Ohio has not had a Democratic Senator, who gives character to the State, is in keeping with the course such persons have uniformly pursued towards me.
You know enough of my course and can inform yourself sufficiently in respect to it by examining the Columns of the Globe to form a correct opinion of such an estimate. I desire no comparisons with my predecessors; but I shrink from none.
Now if you can write a few articles and have place further in the Times and Columbian, they will be copied into friendly papers, and do something at least. towards changing this current.
If you see Miss Chalfant, I pray you to assure her of my warm regard and kindest remembrances. Has her sister, Mrs. Marshall, returned from California? I hear so; but can hardly believe it.
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