To Salmon P. Chase

Hon. Salmon P. Chase       Executive Mansion,
My dear Sir.                           Washington, June 30, 1864.

Your resignation of the office of Secretary of the Treasury, sent me yesterday, is accepted. Of all I have said in commendation of your ability and fidelity, I have nothing to unsay; and yet you and I have reached a point of mutual embarrassment in our official relation which it seems can not be overcome, or longer sustained, consistently with the public service. Your Obt. Servt. A. LINCOLN


To Salmon P. Chase

Hon. Secretary of the Treasury           Executive Mansion,
My dear Sir:                                                 Washington, February 29. 1864.

I would have taken time to answer yours of the 22nd. sooner, only that I did not suppose any evil could result from the delay, especially as, by a note, I promptly acknowled[ged] the receipt of yours, and promised a fuller answer. Now, on consideration, I find there is really very little to say. My knowledge of Mr. Pomeroy’s letter having been made public came to me only the day you wrote; but I had, in spite of myself, known of it’s existence several days before. I have not yet read it, and I think I shall not. I was not shocked, or surprised by the appearance of the letter, because I had had knowledge of Mr. Pomeroy’s Committee, and of secret issues which I supposed came from it, and of secret agents who I supposed were sent out by it, for several weeks. I have known just as little of these things as my own friends have allowed me to know. They bring the documents to me, but I do not read them—they tell me what they think fit to tell me, but I do not inquire for more. I fully concur with you that neither of us can be justly held responsible for what our respective friends may do without our instigation or countenance; and I assure you, as you have assured me, that no assault has been made upon you by my instigation, or with my countenance.

Whether you shall remain at the head of the Treasury Department is a question which I will not allow myself to consider from any stand-point other than my judgment of the public service; and, in that view, I do not perceive occasion for a change. Yours truly A. LINCOLN

To Salmon P. Chase

Hon. Secretary of the Treasury         Executive Mansion,
My dear Sir:                                               Washington, [February 12], 1864.

I have felt considerable anxiety concerning the Custom House at New-York. Mr. Barney has suffered no abatement of my confidence in his honor and integrity; and yet I am convinced that he has ceased to be master of his position. A man by the name of Bailey, whom I am unconscious of ever having seen, or even having heard of, except in this connection, expects to be, and even now assumes to be, Collector de facto, while Mr. Barney remains nominally so. This Mr. Bailey as I understand having been summoned as a witness to testify before a committee of the House of Representatives which purposed investigating the affairs of the New-York Custom-House, took occasion to call on the Chairman in advance, and to endeavor to smother the investigation, saying among other things, that whatever might be developed, the President would take no action, and the committee would thereby be placed unpleasantly. The public interest can not fail to suffer in the hands of this irresponsible and unscrupulous man. I propose sending Mr. Barney Minister to Portugal, as evidence of my continued confidence in him; and I further propose appointing— Collector of the Customs at New-York. I wrote the draft of this letter two weeks ago, but delayed sending it for a reason which I will state when I see you. Yours truly A. LINCOLN

To Salmon P. Chase

Hon. Secretary of the Treasury           Executive Mansion,
My dear Sir:                                                 Washington, Nov. 17. 1863.

I expected to see you here at Cabinet meeting, and to say something about going to Gettysburg. There will be a train to take and return us. The time for starting is not yet fixed; but when it shall be, I will notify you. Yours truly A. LINCOLN.

To Salmon P. Chase

Hon. S. P. Chase. Executive Mansion,
My dear Sir: Washington, September 2. 1863.

Knowing your great anxiety that the emancipation proclamation shall now be applied to certain parts of Virginia and Louisiana which were exempted from it last January, I state briefly what appear to me to be difficulties in the way of such a step. The original proclamation has no constitutional or legal justification, except as a military measure. The exemptions were made because the military necessity did not apply to the exempted localities. Nor does that necessity apply to them now any more than it did then. If I take the step must I not do so, without the argument of military necessity, and so, without any argument, except the one that I think the measure politically expedient, and morally right? Would I not thus give up all footing upon constitution or law? Would I not thus be in the boundless field of absolutism? Could this pass unnoticed, or unresisted? Could it fail to be perceived that without any further stretch, I might do the same in Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri; and even change any law in any state? Would not many of our own friends shrink away appalled? Would it not lose us the elections, and with them, the very cause we seek to advance?

To William H. Seward and Salmon P. Chase

Hon. William H. Seward, &                         Executive Mansion,
Hon. Salmon P. Chase.                                 Washington, December 20. 1862.

Gentlemen: You have respectively tendered me your resignations, as Secretary of State, and Secretary of the Treasury of the United States. I am apprised of the circumstances which may render this course personally desireable to each of you; but, after most anxious consideration, my deliberate judgment is, that the public interest does not admit of it. I therefore have to request that you will resume the duties of your Departments respectively. Your Obt. Servt. A. LINCOLN.

To Salmon P. Chase

Secretary Chase                   Washington City, D.C.
Fredericksburg, Va.            May 25. 1862

It now appears that Banks got safely in to Winchester last night, and is, this morning, retreating on Harper’s Ferry. This justifies the inference that he is pressed by numbers superior to his own. I think it not improbable that Ewell Jackson and Johnson, are pouring through the gap they made day-before yesterday at Front Royal, making a dash Northward. It will be a very valuable, and very honorable service for Gen. McDowell to cut them off. I hope he will put all possible energy and speed into the effort.