-- Hesitation and Decision --


Advice: Salmon P. Chase

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Salmon P. Chase

Treasury secretary Salmon P. Chase announced himself "clearly in favor" of maintaining Fort Pickens and of "provisioning Fort Sumter." If the attempt to provision Sumter were resisted, the government should reinforce the fort.

Chase stated that there was no difference in the situation of the two forts. War would just as likely be the consequence of attempting to provision Sumter as of attempting to hold Pickens. And if war should result from these efforts, "I perceive no reason why it may not be best begun in consequence of military resistance to the efforts of the administration to sustain troops of the Union, stationed under the authority of the government, in a fort of the Union, in the ordinary course of service."

Click here for full text of Chase's advice

Bibliography: Lincoln, Works, eds. Nicolay and Hay, p. 228.

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