Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

.

CHIEF JUSTICE CHASE.

SALMON PORTLAND CHASE, Senator of the United States, Governor for two successive terms of the State of Ohio, Secretary of the Treasury under President Lincoln, and appointed Chief-Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States on the death of the super fluous Roger Taney, was born in the little town of Cornish, N. I., January 13, 1808. At the age of twelve he went to Worthington, Ohio, and prepared himself for college under the eye of his uncle, Philander Chase, who was then bishop of the State. He entered Cincinnati College, of which his uncle had been made President, and, after a short stay there, returned to New Hampshire, to be near his mother, who was now become blind. He entered Dartmouth College in 1824 as a junior, and graduated in 1826. He then went to Washington, hoping to get some advancement from his uncle, Dudley Chase, then a Senator from Vermont. At first he advertised for pupils, intending to open a private school; but failing in that, he applied to his uncle for help in gaining a clerkship in the Treasury Department; but the Senator was perhaps afraid of the suspicion of nepotism, and refused to help his nephew. Casting about for some means of earning a living, it happened that young Chase fell in with a Mr. Plumley, who offered him the transfer of a flourishing boys' school of which he was master. In this school were the sons of several men of note—of Henry Clay, of William Wirt, of Samuel L. Southard, and others; and Chase, having studied law under the direction of Wirt in the hours when he was not occupied with teaching, was enabled, after three years, to enter the bar of the District of Columbia. This was in 1829. In 1830 he went again to Cincinnati, which since that time has been his home. Mr. Chase took no part in public life until 1841 ; nevertheless, he had made his name known to the people of the whole country by his undisguised opposition to the extension of slavery, and his resistance to the efforts that were being made by parties in the North as well as in the South to engraft slavery upon the National Government. It would be long to give a detailed account of the different steps by which Mr. Chase gained this national reputation as an anti-slavery man, but we may say briefly that the history of his life is the history of the whole struggle in this country between Slavery and Freedom outside of the real anti-slavery party, that of the Garrison abolitionists. With these men Chase never affiliated; he has always been essentially a politician, and has held steadily, from the first, to his belief in constitutional remedies for all political evils. While he was working his way slowly in his profession, he prepared an edition of the Statutes of Ohio, which was soon accepted as the standard, and gave him reputation. Practice now flowed in, and in 1834 he became Solicitor of the Bank of the United States in Cincinnati. In 1837 he acted as counsel for a colored woman claimed as a fugitive slave; and in an elaborate argument, which was afterward published, he took the ground he never afterward abandoned—that Congress has no right to impose any duties or confer any powers on State magistrates in fugitive-slave cases. In this position he was afterwards sustained by the United States Supreme Court. On this occasion he also argued that the law of 1793 relative to fugitives from service was void, since it is not contained in the Constitution of the United States. These two points contain the gist of Mr. Chase's arguments against slavery, whether presented in the court, on the political platform, or in the Senate. If he never receded from either of these positions, he also never advanced beyond them to higher principles ; and in spite of his fidelity to the cause of territorial freedom, his name has never been a watchword to those who have been fighting the battle of Freedom for man. As Governor of Ohio, elected in 1857 and reëlected in 1858, Mr. Chase added to a reputation already greatly distinguished. Public economy and the interests of education in the State were hiswfirst care, and he has left his name written all over the statute-books of the State. In March, 1861, Governor Chase was invited by Mr. Lincoln to take charge of the Treasury Department, on the resignation of General Dix. He accepted the post, was confirmed by the Senate, and entered upon a task as arduous as ever was set before any man in any country. We cannot attempt to record the history of his administration in this place. It is a record of unsullied splendor, and has justly won for him the gratitude of every true American citizen. Yet praise must not stop short at his integrity, his zeal, or his unintermitted labor in the discharge of his office. What makes the peculiar glory of this administration, is that the Secretary saved the nation in a momentous crisis, not by any trick of diplomacy or finance, but by moral force. He put the question to the people squarely: The Government wants money. If it does not have it, we shall be beaten. Will you lend us your savings? He believed in the people, he trusted in them ; when every other face was clouded, he stood in the sun. The people met

him with an equal courage, and freely gave him all the money he wanted. On the day.after - the assassination of Mr. Lincoln more money was poured into the Treasury than was ever given to any government in a single day. This was a free offering; but it will easily be understood that, before these popular loans could be induced, the people had to be educated to understand the method and appreciate the value of the security. To do this, required a prodigious amount of work, and Mr. Chase gave himself up to the task with all his energies, fortunate in the aid of such men as Jay Cooke, Chittenden, and Spinner, and many other good men and true less publicly known. Of later events in the life of Mr. Chase, this is not the place to speak. Rumor has for many months coupled his name with ambition, and has not forborne to smirch the ermine that the Chief Justice wears, by imputations that we, at least, will not believe till they are proved. The men among us who have been faithful in every ordeal, who have never failed from duty, are not so many that we can afford to lose even one. It is our duty to stand by them—to be true to them, as they have been true to us.

MONTHLY CHRONICLE.

CURRENT EVENTS.

UNITED STATES.

felt in the integrity and impartiality of the The month of May.was crowded with Senate, and while a very strong element of events of importance in our history, chief partisanship characterized the more proamong which are the close of the Impeach- nounced Republicans and Democrats, there ment trial of the President, the meeting of was a medium impartial sentiment among the the National Republican Convention, and press and people at large, very much more nomination of Grant and Colfax, the consum- powerful than is usually found in regard to mation of the Congressional plan of Recon- questions involving political consequences. struction in several Southern States, so far as While no Democrats in or out of Congress the action of the people of the States is con- favored conviction, a few Republicans favored cerned, the arrival of Minister Burlingame as acquittal, and a very large number preferred ambassador from China to all the treaty-mak- to regard the proceeding as a judicial tria) ing powers, the annual anniversaries of all rather than as a political inquest, and to be the religious and philanthropic societies in content with whatever disposition of the case New York, an annual conference of the the Senators upon their oaths miglit make, Methodist Episcopal Church at Chicago, the Nevertheless, a very general conviction pre. retirement of Secretary Stanton from the vailed that the President would be removed, War Department, the confirmation of Gen. and both those opposing and favoring removal eral Schofield as Secretary of War, and the were actively canvassing the probable cabinet singular revelation, by the testimony of Mr. and other appointments of Mr. Wade, when Weed and others, of the efforts made to the divergence of three of the most prominent procure the votes of Senators for acquittal by Republican Senators roused the country from direct bribery.

a state of comparative calm to one of intense —The arguments of the Impeachment trial interest. This increased until, on May 16th, closed on behalf of the President by an the vote was taken on the 11th article of address occupying nearly four days by Mr. Impeachment, with the following result: Wm. M. Evarts, and on behalf of the mana

For Conviction-Anthony, Cameron, Cattell, gers by a three days' address by Mr. Bing- Chandler, Cole, Conkling, Conness, Corbett, Cragin, bam. Mr. Evarts spoke extemporaneously and Drake, Edmunds, Ferry, Frelinghuysen, Harlan, with more humor than argument, relying Howard, Howe, Morgan, Morrill (Me.), Morrill

(Vt.), Norton, Nye, Patterso (N. H.), Pomeroy, upon tact in securing the kind feeling of the

Ramsey, Sherman, Sprague, Stewart, Sumner, Senators toward the President rather than on Thayer, Tipton, Wade, Willey, Williams, Wilson, logic in persuading their understandings. Mr.

Yates, 35. Bingham's speech was ornate and exhaustive.

For Acquillal-Bayard, Buckalow, Davis, Dixon,

Doolittle, Fessenden, Fowler, Grimes, Henderson, On May 6th the arguments ended and the Hendricks, Johnson, McCreery, Norton, Patterson case was submitted to the Senate. After a (Tenn.), Ross, Saulsbury, Trumbull, Van Winkle, prolonged secret session and arguments by

Vickers, 19. the Senators, on May 7th, the Senate agreed The President was therefore acquitted by to come to a final vote on the eleventh article a single vote. The Republicans voting to on Tuesday, May 12. As early as the latter acquit were Fessenden, Fowler, Grimes, Henpart of April it had been assumed by the derson, Ross, Trumbull, and Van Winkle. opponents of Impeachment that Senators The Senate then postponed the vote on the Grimes, Fessenden, and Trumbull would vote remaining articles to May 26th, when the for acquittal, but the fact was not authorita- vote was taken with the same result upon the tively announced until the Senatorial debate second and third articles, whereupon the of May 7th. From this time to the final vote Senate, sitting for the trial of the Impeach. an interest prevailed throughout the country ment of Andrew Johnson, adjourned sine die. equalled only by the profound excitements - The Republican National Convention and unutterable anxiety with which the issue met on May 20th, at the Opera House, in of the great battles of the rebellion was Chicago. It is the first Republican Convenawaited by the people. Great confidence was tion in which delegates were present from all

VOL. II.--8

the States of the Union, General Schurz acted On the first ballot for Vice President tho as temporary and General Ilawley as perma- vote stood as follows: nent chairman. The first day of the session Wade, 149; Fenton, 132; Wilson, 119; Colfax, was occupied by organization, the appoint- 118; Curtin, 52; Hamiin, 28; Speed, 22; and serment of committees, the preparation of a

cral scattering. platform, canvassing for Vice President, and On the fifth ballot the vote was speeches. The resolutions of the Soldiers and

Colfax, 522; Fenton, 75; Wade, 42; Wilson, 11; Sailors' Convention, then in session, nominat- Total, 650. ing General Grant for President, and con- On motion of General Cochrane, chairman demning the course of the seven Senators of the New York delegation, the nomination whose votes acquitted the President, were of Schuyler Colfax was made unanimous. received. On the 21st the National Conven- The nominations are received with spontane. tion reported its platform, originally in twelve ous accord by the party. resolutions, as follows:

-Alabama, Georgia, North and South 1. Endorsing the reconstruction policy of

Carolina, Louisiana, Florida, and Arkansas Congress on the basis of equal civil and

have passed upon the new constitutions, each political rights to all, and pledging to mantain

of them giving a large majority for ratificait.

tion. In Alabama, however, the constitution 2. Placing equal suffrage to loyal men at

failed of adoption, owing to a peculiarity in the South on the ground of public safety, and

the Reconstruction law requiring the majority leaving the suffrage question in the loyal

of the registered voters to vote on the ques

tion. States to the people thereof.

An act providing that these States 3. Denouncing repudiation and pledging should be admitted to the Union, under these payment of the National debt according to its constitutions, and with the State officers reletter and spirit.

cently chosen, when cach' shall ratify the 4. Equal and reduced taxation.

XIVth amendment, provided that no law or 5. The gradual payment of the debt and

constitutional amendment excluding present reduction of rates of interest.

voters from the suffrage shall hereafter be 6. Best way to lessen the burden of the passed by any of them, and that those pordebt is so to improve our credit as to borrow

tions making void debts due prior to 1865 it at lowest rates of interest.

shall not apply to debts due loyal men, passed 7. Economy and reform of the corruptions the House of Representatives on May 14th, of the present administration,

by a vote of 108 to 35. The attempt to 8. Deploring the death of President Lin

strike out Alabama because, under the law,

the constitution had been defeated in that coln and condemning the administration of President Johnson, who has been justly im

State, failed. peached for high crimes and misdemeanors,

-The testimony of the eminent journalist and properly pronounced guilty thereof by

and politician, Mr. Thurlow Weed, before the the votes of thirty-five Senators.

Investigating Committee, relative to the al9. Guaranteeing protection to naturalized

leged use of corrupt means to obtain the citizens.

President's acquittal, does not bring corrup10. Pledging substantial gratitude to the

tion home to any particular Senator, or to the soldiers and sailors of the war for the Union,

Senatorial body, but shows that at least $20,11. Immigration should be encouraged.

000 were raised in New York and Cincinnati 12. Sympathy for all oppressed peoples.

for the purpose of corrupting Republican Sena

tors. Mr. C. W. Woolley, the principal actor To which were added, on motion of Gene- in the affair, refuses to testify what became ral Schurz, resolutions favoring the removal of this money, or to whom he paid it. He of all disabilities from rebels who coöperate has therefore been placed in close confinein reconstruction and endorsing the principles ment by order of Congress. laid down in the Declaration of Independence. -The first triennial festival of the Handel

After the adoption of the platform, General and Haydn Society was held in the Boston Logan, as chairman of the Illinois delegation, Music Hall during the first week in May, nominated Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, who, upon opening on the 5th, and closing on the 10th. a call of the States and Territories, received It was probably the most important musical every one of the 650 votes of the Convention, celebration ever witnessed in this country, and was declared unanimously nominated and both in an artistic and a pecuniary sense amid the wildest enthusiasın,

Grand periodical

was entirely successful.

[ocr errors]

fcasts of song, which have done so much for the summit of a hill burst from its base and the higher kinds of music in England, are was thrown bodily over the tops of the trees comparative novelties in the United States, one thousand feet. A column of fire and but we may now consider them fairly establish- smoke seven and three quarter miles high ed, and the example of Boston promises to accompanied the eruption, and was visible at have many imitators. Four oratorios and two night for fifty miles. On the 28th there were cantatas were superbly performed, with a one hundred earthquakes, and two thousand chorus of nearly 800 voices, and an orchestra occurred within the two weeks following. of 115 picked musicians, and Madame Rosa About one hundred lives and much property and Miss Phillips in the principal solo parts. were lost. During the earthquakes nothing There were several grand symphonies and could stand, and men and animals were tossed various miscellaneous programmes, and among to and fro as if all that had life had lost the them Mendelssohn's posthumous Reformation power of motion, and only the hitherto solid Symphony was played for the first time in this earth had life. country. The event of the week, however, - The Right. Hon. Henry, Lord Brougham was the performance-the only satisfactory and Vaux, the eminent reformer, abolitionist, one yet given in Americá—of Beethoven's lawyer, and chancellor, died at Cannes, in awful choral symphony-a triumph over the France, on May 9th, in the 90th year of his most frightful difficulties of the musical art age. He was the last link that united the which aroused the intense enthusiasm of con- England of Bright, Mill, Disraeli, and the noisseurs, and would have been glory enough Fenian era with the England of the four for the festival even had no other good thing Georges, of Burke, Pitt, Fox, Canning, Wil been done. The credit of it belongs chiefly berforce—the wars with Napoleon, the abolito the conductor, Mr. Carl Zerrahn.

tion of West Indian slavery, and the Corn

Law Repeal.
FOREIGN.

-Mr. Disraeli having, as Premier, formally The most terrific earthquakes and eruptions withdrawn all opposition to the disestablishon record occurred at the ancient volcano of ment of the Irish Church, pursuant to Mr. Mauna Loa, in the Sandwich Islands, begin- Gladstone's resolutions, the expected ministening March 27th, and continuing to April 13. rial crisis in England is ended, and the presThe mountain opened in a fissure running ent ministry will doubtless remain in office nearly from the base to the summit-and first certainly until the new Parliament to be an eruption of red earth or clay was poured elected under the Reformed Suffrage Act out in a stream two and three quarter miles shall convene. long, and a mile wide, in three minutes. -By the capture of Bokhara, the capital Then a tidal wave sixty feet high swept a of Toorkistan, by the Russian forces under quarter of a mile inland over the tops of the Romanoffsky, the Empire is extended to the highest cocoa trees. Then a river of red hot borders of British India, and the double-faced lara, six miles long, flowed out at the rate Eagles of Russia and the Lion of England are of ten miles an hour into the sea, making an brought face to face with each other upon the island four hundred feet high. At Koalulu heights of Central Asia.

« IndietroContinua »