More US Forts Fall; Lincoln Meets With Chase

Friday, January 4, 1861

All United States forts in the South were now in danger. With the governors of four deep South states still in the Union calling for their seizures, the forts would quickly fall.

Alabama’s Fort Morgan and the arsenal at Mount Vernon were both seized by state troops. According to a telegraph received by the Richmond Daily Dispatch, “The forts contained 78,000 stand of arms, 1,500 boxes of powder, 300,000 rounds of musket cartridges, and other munitions of war.”


Ohio’s Senator-Elect and (soon to be) former governor, Salmon Portland Chase, had just arrived in Springfield at the request of Abraham Lincoln. Chase ran against Lincoln during the Republican Presidential Primary. His trip from Columbus was miserable and, upon arrival, he hardly had time to set his luggage down before Lincoln broke etiquette and called upon Chase at his hotel.

Lincoln wanted to offer Chase the Secretary of the Treasury position, but wasn’t quite able to do so, having regretfully offered it to Simon Cameron from Pennsylvania. Hopefully that mess would be sorted out soon enough and Lincoln could appoint Chase.

As for Chase, he claimed that he did not want a position, especially not a “subordinate one.” They talked for some time and agreed to meet again the next day to talk some more. If Lincoln really wanted Chase, he would have to wear him down.1

  1. Lincoln President-Elect by Harold Holzer. []
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More US Forts Fall; Lincoln Meets With Chase by CW DG is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International


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