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SELECTED LETTERS OF SALMON P. CHASE

From E. B. Washburne.

HOUSE OF REPS. Jan. 10, 1861.

My DEAR GOVERNOR: The probability now is that Lincoln's administration is likely to escape a great calamity which threatened it. What I mean is, that Cameron will not have. a place in the cabinet either by his declining the appointment, or a withdrawal of it by Lincoln. The idea now prevails here, upon apparently good authority, that you have been offered the Treasury, but many fears are expressed that you will not accept. It is said you would have accepted the State. Will you permit me to say that in the present state of the country, and its finances, the country demands your services in the Treasury department, and to express a most earnest hope that if the Secretaryship of the Treasury has been tendered to you, you will accept it. You can do more good in that Department than in any other, and can acquire more reputation. I think I may safely say, I speak the sentiments of the great majority of our republican friends here. You would be surprised, as well as flattered at the unanimity here on that subject. Your appointment would be hailed with satisfaction and delight from quarters you little think of. Though you are needed in the Senate, yet I tell you it is now a necessity that you should go into the cabinet if Lincoln has tendered you a place. There are reasons that I cannot elaborate in a letter, as hastily written as this. But I could not resist the impulse to say this much, as an old friend and admirer, and the same that I have twice said to Lincoln.
I am truly yours &c.
E. B. WASHBURNE

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

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