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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE

MEMPHIS, Aug. 6th, 1863.

SIR: At the request of Mr. Flanders, Supervising Sp. Agent, etc., I have come here to have an interview with Mr. Mellen, for the purpose of designating the respective jurisdictions of Mr. Flanders and Mr. Mellen - of harmonizing their action - of exchanging views and opinions and of receiving and giving whatever information might be of value to either party. Mr. Flanders was too busy to leave New Orleans. Mr. Mellen is not here, and not being certain of finding him at St. Louis or Cincinnati, I shall return at once to New Orleans.
Mr. Flanders' letter of appointment makes him Supervising Sp. Agent for the "States of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, within the lines occupied by the National forces operating in or from the Dept. of the Gulf; or after the Mississippi River shall have been fully opened from any other Department."
Mr. Flanders, under the circumstances, supposes his authority to extend entirely and exclusively, over the three States above-mentioned. I understand Mr. Mellen has sent an officer to Vicksburg. Mr. Flanders will send a proper officer to Natchez. I respectfully request that you define the jurisdiction of each of the Supervising Sp. Agents, that Mr. Flanders may know how far his authority extends and act accordingly.
The Collector at St. Louis, by advertisement, gives notice that he will exact the 5 per cent. tax on shipments made direct to New Orleans.
Shipments are made by sea to New Orleans from New York and other Ports, unrestricted by any such tax. The exaction of this tax on goods going down the RIver to the same destination, is a distinction of 5 per cent. in favor of Eastern and against Western Ports. This seems to me unjust - its effect will be bad and much dissatisfaction arise.
I think the Collector at St. Louis and collectors at other western ports, should receive immediate instructions, not to assess any tax on shipments made direct from their ports to the Port of New Orleans.
I have received much information from Mr. Yeatman, Sp. Agent at this Port, with whom 1 leave a copy of this letter to be forwarded to Mr. Mellen.

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

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