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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE
NEW ORLEANS, July 26th, 1864.
DEAR SIR: The State Convention has
adjourned at last, having completed their labors and the new constitution. The President of the Convention, however, is authorized to call them together again, in case their action be not ratified by the people. This course seems to me quite singular, and betrays a fear that the new Constitution will not be accepted next September, when it is expected the people will vote on it. I have already given you my opinions concerning this convention which remain unchanged. I think there is great danger that the constitution will not be ratified, although it is a very good one; but there really is so little merit and respectability among the members of the convention, that the public will be likely to regard with contempt whatever may be done by them.
Two or three days before the
adjournment, there was a good deal of excitement arising out of an article published in the New Orleans Times. I am assured that the statements in that article are substantially true, but the Convention couldn't stand it - tried to arrest Mr. May and failed - induced Gen. Banks to arrest him by his Provost Marshal, who brought him before the Convention, where he was tried and sentenced to ten days imprisonment. Gen. Canby made Gen. Banks issue an order for his immediate release, so that Mr. May never went to prison. In public estimation, both the Convention and Gen. Banks have done themselves injury, while Mr. May is not injured at all. I enclose the article published in the Times, and also brief reports of the proceedings of the Convention during the two following days. An effort will be made to have May removed from the office of Assistant Treasurer - an effort which I hope
will be unsuccessful. If you can conveniently do anything to prevent it, I hope you will. Mr. May's place cannot be properly filled by anybody else here. You see that he was accused of being a Chase man, &c., in the Convention.
No military movements are
being made in this Department. The departure of the 19th. Armp Corps for the North indicates that no offensive operations will be undertaken here this summer. I believe, however, that the Rebels do not intend to be idle, but will soon undertake raids through the whole country west of the Mississippi. Gen. Canby is prepared for them. Canby is becoming popular - more perhaps because he snubs Banks, or seems to snub him - than for any other reason. He attends to his own business and is much respected. Hahn leaves to-day for the North with Gen. Sickles. I do not know what he goes for, but probably it is for something connected with the State Government here.
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