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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE

To Charles A. Dana, Esq., New York.

Private.                                              COLUMBUS, Nov. 10. [1860]

I do not know what to say in reply to your wish that I may go into Mr. Lincoln's cabinet, except to thank you for the implied appreciation by which I am ashamed to confess myself not the less gratified, however conscious that it is beyond my deserts.
Certainly I do not seek any such place. I greatly prefer my position as Senator, & would indeed prefer to that a private Station could I now honorably retire.
For, of the great objects which first constrained me into political life, one, the overthrow of the Slave Power, is now happily accomplished and the other, the denationalization of Slavery and the consequent inauguration of an era of constitutional enfranchisement, seems sure to follow, - so that I do not feel any longer that I have "a mission ," & therefore allow myself to grow somewhat weary of the harness. But for the present I cannot get unyoked; and must work on a while longer.
And I greatly prefer to work in a Legislative rather than in an administrative position. It is more pleasant on many accounts. Still I do not say that I wd refuse the post you refer to. Indeed it wd be rather superflous to decline what has not been offered. Neither do I say that I would accept it: - but only this: that if the offer were made, without any urgency on the part of my friends and under circumstances otherwise agreeable to me, I should feel bound to consider it honestly & carefully, with the help of the best advisers I could consult, & should be governed in my decision, not so much by my personal inclinations as by my obligations to the cause and its true &. faithful friend.
I thank you for giving my Covington Speech a place in the Tribune. It has attracted a good deal of attention & will, I hope, do some good.
Give my best regards to Mr. Greeley, - who will, I trust, now find appreciation in some measure proportioned to his pub. services - and to your other colaborers. How your work shames ours :

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Annual Report of the American Historical Association; Volume II; Washington, Government Printing Office; 1903

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