-- Initial Problems at Fort Sumter and Fort Pickens --


Advice: Salmon P. Chase

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Salmon P. Chase

Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase was the only other cabinet member who fully agreed with Montgomery Blair to support a relief attempt.

Chase judged Fox's plan to have a "reasonable degree of probability" of success. He asserted that the government had a "clear right" and was performing "a plain duty" in maintaining the fort. He further argued that the expedition should not only provide provisions, but also troop reinforcements to make the effort fully worthwhile. Although the expedition might be militarily resisted, Chase did not think the encounter would lead to a full scale war. To assure this outcome, he recommended that the attempt be accompanied by a proclamation setting forth "a liberal and generous yet firm policy toward the disaffected States."

Click here for full text of Chase's advice

Bibliography: Lincoln, Works, eds. Nicolay and Hay, 6: 201-202.

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