Salmon P. Chase



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Reply to letter from McIlvane dated August 13, 1861; God seems to be punishing us for our sins - complicity with slavery


KMcI 610826




letter, McIlvaine, Chase, slavery


Treasury department

Aug 26 1861

My dear Bishop,

Some days have passed since I recd your kind note and the very interesting letter of Dr. Andrews which I return as requested.

It was very painful to read the statements of the good Doctor who has undoubtedly perfect faith in them. WE who know the utter falsity of many of them cannot be expected to put much faith in any except what he vouches for from personal observation.

Certainly war is a dreadful evil, and doubtless its incidents are often most appalling and distressing. Would that the infatuated men who have deceived the Southern States to their views had thought of it in time! even now the good Doctor himself is contributing to the same wretched delusion in which the war had its origin. his talk of miracles &c is of a piece with the assurances given by the dis unionists that if the Slave States did not secede Lincoln would send among them his myrmidons to let their slaves loose, ravish their women, & burn their dwellings. What a terrible responsibility is that of these deceivers.

Most earnestly do I wish for peace: but how can there be peace when the government hears daily the most piteous cries for support & relief from the Union men of Tennessee, Kentucky, & Virginia; and when we know that but for the war despotism which suppresses utterance in the other states the same cries would come from nearly [every] county south of the Potomac & the Ohio?

I wish you cd. read the letters now on my table from those states: and especially from the two first. they are heartrending.

Would the Slavery Despotism allow the people of Tenn. and Va. to exercise their own free will in the matter? Look at Missouri!

The truth is that God seems to be punishing for our sins -- among the greatest [is] i believe that of Complicity with Slavery.

but I must stop

Faithfully & affectionately yours

S P Chase

Letter to C. P. McIlvaine



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