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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 20th, 1863.

DEAR SIR: The Bank enterprize progresses well. The amount already subscribed is over $500,000. and some of the subscribers have already paid in the first installment. I have used every exertion to advance the undertaking and not without results. Mr. Graham has subscribed largely and done all he could. He will be one of the Directors and probably cashier. It is intended the capital shall be $500,000.
I shall endeavor to have the whole stock paid in during the next sixty days, that the whole may be at once invested in bonds and that we may get under full headway at once. Anxiety is felt, lest the supply of U. S. bonds should be exhausted before we are ready to purchase. I hope you will retain, if possible, bonds to the amount of $250,000. for us, and if I succeed in getting the whole sum paid in, we shall want twice that amount. I do not hesitate to make this suggestion, knowing that you understand the importance of starting the First National Bank of New Orleans successfully and without delay. The men controlling this thing, are of the right kind. I shall send you a list of the stockholders. Dr. Cottman goes to Washington to-morrow. I recently told you about a letter written by him to a planter here. It seems that Gov. Shepley and Capt. Cozzens told Gen. Thomas and Gen. Wadsworth about it, who told Cottman, who goes to Washington to explain and probably to accuse and make trouble. He says that he takes the letter with him, that the President and yourself may see exactly what he wrote. Of course I had nothing to do with the matter. I gave my opinion of Dr. Cottman in a former letter. Mr. Plumly thinks he has not much influence, but I know he has and gave the reasons. Dr. Cottman is not a valuable friend, but he would be an unpleasant enemy. He is by no means hostile to you, and should not be permitted to become hostile.
Of course you already know of the capture of Brownsville, Texas. It is reported that 3,000 refugees have come in already. Gen. Hamilton left for Texas to-day and Mr. Brackenridge, Ass't. Sp. Agent went with him. Gen. Banks has not yet returned. I am annoyed a good deal about trade, and trade stores, for want of co-operation and approval of some of the military authorities, but it will come out all right. I repeatedly requested Gen. Banks when here, to define the Trade and Supply Districts, but, as usual, failed to obtain any sort of decision. He is expected here shortly and it shall then be arranged.
There has been some skirmishing between the different authorities - Gen. Stone - the Quartermaster - Gen. Shepley, Gen. Bowen and the District attorney. It is of little or no consequence, and I only mention it, because, probably, Dr. Cottman will exaggerate it. I have no trouble with any one. The District Attorney pitched into me last week, and seized all the cotton in the City Warehouses. He was defeated and never knew who hurt him.
Military operations in Louisiana seem to be at a stand - nothing is being done on the Teche and many of the troops are being withdrawn to be sent to Banks in Texas.
I hope Mr. Flanders will return soon, for I have more to do than can be well done by one person - especially since this Bank business has taken much time and effort.

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

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