CHASE, Salmon Portland, (1808 - 1873)

Senate Years of Service: 1849-1855; 1861-1861
Party: Free Soil; Republican

Library of Congress

CHASE, Salmon Portland, (nephew of Dudley Chase, cousin of Dudley Chase Denison, and father-in-law of William Sprague [1830-1915]), a Senator from Ohio; born in Cornish, N.H., January 13, 1808; attended schools at Windsor, Vermont, Worthington, Ohio, and the Cincinnati (Ohio) College; graduated from Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H., in 1826; taught school; studied law in Washington, D.C.; admitted to the bar in 1829; commenced practice in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1830; elected as a Whig to the Cincinnati City Council in 1840; identified himself in 1841 with the Liberty Party, and later with the Free Soil Party; elected to the United States Senate as a Free Soil candidate and served from March 4, 1849, to March 3, 1855; elected Governor of Ohio in 1855 as a Free Soil Democrat and reelected in 1857 as a Republican; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1860; took his seat March 4, 1861, but resigned two days later to become Secretary of the Treasury under President Abraham Lincoln; served as Secretary of the Treasury until July 1864, when he resigned; member of the peace convention of 1861 held in Washington, D.C., in an effort to devise means to prevent the impending war; Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court from December 1864 until his death on May 7, 1873; presided at the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson in 1868; died in New York City; interment in Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, D.C.; reinterment in Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio.


American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; The Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law; Blue, Frederick J. Salmon P. Chase: A Life in Politics. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1987; Niven, John. Salmon P. Chase: A Biography. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.