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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE

(Private)

NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 10th, 1862.

DEAR SIR: I enclose in this private letter, my statement of private account with the Treasury Department, with vouchers showing the disposition of the $1,000, received from Mr. Barney, by your order, to pay traveling expenses of the Custom House officers from New York to this port. The account shows balance due me Sept. 30th, of $1,332.24. My name has not been included in the pay roll of this office, in making estimate heretofore.
The duties of Collector of this port have never been so extensive as now - nor his labors so arduous - nor his responsibilities so great. If the account is incorrect, please inform me with your own hand.
This Custom House is thoroughly organized, and everything works smoothly and efficiently. We have not yet received any blank books and forms from New York, so that official returns cannot yet be made in proper form.
About 100 vessels are in port loading or unloading. Most of the business being coastwise, the receipts for duties are not large. To-night the am't. in my hands is about $180,000. I have not appointed, and shall not appoint, any officer, unless it is absolutely necessary.
Mr. Sarjeant, acting appraiser here, informs me by letter, that he has had an interview with you and has received from you authority to appoint in New York Assistants to the Appraiser's Department in this Custom House, who will return here with him. I regret that my opinion was not asked, for I regard the increase of officers in the Appraiser's Department, only as an unnecessary expense to the Government. Even in Mr. Sarjeant's absence, we have got along well enough with only Mr. Jackson, whose nomination as Asst. Appraiser you approved. To be sure, the increase of officers will give to all in the Appraiser's Department much leisure, but why should a Government officer be allowed any leisure at all?

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