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Self-Serving, but Invaluable as Treasury Secretary
Salmon P. Chase, the former Governor and Senator of Ohio, was bitterly disappointed at his failure to receive the Republican presidential nomination in the Election of 1860. Despite his acceptance of the position of Secretary of Treasury, Chase was outwardly jealous of Lincoln and often served his own interests in a quest to secure the nomination in the 1864 Election. Chase, however, proved an excellent treasury secretary and ingeniously managed the finances of the Union during the Civil War. His ideas to issue paper currency and to sell debt to pay for the war effort helped to keep the Union financially solvent during the war.
Calling Chase's Bluff
Throughout Lincoln’s administration, Chase would threaten to resign his post because of perceived slights or disagreements with other cabinet members. Lincoln, who understood Chase’s contributions rebuffed his resignation letters time and time again until finally, in 1864, much to the surprise and chagrin of Chase, accepted his resignation. Lincoln then appointed William Fessenden to replace him. To placate Chase, however, Lincoln nominated him to the vacant position of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, which Chase held until his death in 1873 at the age of 65.