Back in the day, when I was several years younger, my weekends were book-ended by sports and church. In between these equally sacred southern traditions, I gathered with youth group buddies, in living rooms and back porches. We called ourselves the Sonrise Singers, and our tireless devotion to guitar strings and vocal harmonies led us into nursing homes and church sanctuaries where we shared our zany sense of the spiritual. We were one in the spirit.
Today’s NY Times Opinionator piece discusses the history between Abe Lincoln and Salmon P. Chase, an earnest, no nonsense man who was both a fabulous Secretary of the Treasury and Lincoln’s arch rival.
Why care about this troublemaker?
Because the dude had a fan club among the founders of a little town in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. Christiansville was a backwater village when George Endley and John Boyd rode in, buying up land on the cheap in 1868-1874. They held big plans for this area, recruiting northern colonists and railroad lines (that never quite materialized) to build a grand town–and in 1873 they approached fellow Ohioan, great banker, former US Senator and Ohio Governor, Secretary of the Treasury and US Supreme Court Justice. Your Honor, may we use your name for our grand Southside town?
Thus was born little ol’ Chase City, home of my beloved father, Norman S. Strickland.
This article details Salmon Chase’s political aspirations and his personal idiosyncracies. Thankfully, the nation was able to profit from his zealous anti-slavery and radical reconstruction ideas–a federal banking system was created, including the greenback demand note which was the first federal currency. His system also made it possible to fund the war effort with government bonds.
Salmon Chase, though an excellent financial administrator, was a pugnacious political fighter, with no sense of humor or understanding of human nature. He aspired to the presidency himself and used his cabinet post to his own advantage, accumulating favors, names and cash–a fact overlooked by Lincoln because Chase was so good at his job. Salmon Chase overplayed his hand, however. Posturing for a particular political outcome, the Secretary offered his resignation. Lincoln, weary of the man, accepted the letter. A surprised and humbled Chase did not seek the presidency. That year.
Lincoln, however crazy Chase made him feel, recognized the man’s intellect and within a few months of the resignation appointed Salmon Chase to the Supreme Court.
During 1872-1873 George Endley and John Boyd led the Southside Board of Settlers’ effort to incorporate their growing town as “Chase City”. In April 1873 a delegation met with the Chief Justice in Richmond, Virginia to formally advise him of the town’s name, and to invite him to be an honorary member of their board. By all accounts, Salmon Chase cordially received this news.
I have always wondered whether Endley and Boyd knew Salmon Chase personally, or if they had ever contributed to one of his political campaigns, or been the recipient of his patronage. No matter. Their admiration for their Buckeye buddy lives on, in the little town of Chase City.
Update: The original post of July 3, 2014 stated that Salmon Chase never sought political office after Lincoln accepted his June 1864 resignation as Secretary of the Treasury. That setback only affected the ’64 election. Chase attempted to win the nomination in 1868 and 1872, unsuccessful in both attempts.
A couple of months ago I received a query regarding my ancestors, the Dodsons of Mecklenburg County, Virginia. In particular, Angela Pearl Dodson was seeking information about the slaves that this family owned, or that relatives of this family had owned. I circle back to this topic today, with a posting from the special collection of the Alexandria Library: Morales, Leslie Anderson , Jennifer Learned, and Beverly Pierce. Virginia Slave Births Index, 1853-1865, Volume 2, D-G. Westminster, Maryland: Heritage Books, 2007.
The information for Dodsons, from all the reporting counties of Virginia, begins on page 85 (with the alternative spelling Dobson) and continues to page 88. Each entry proceeds in this order:
Informant’s Surname, Informant’s First Name; Slave’s Name; Mother’s Name; Date of Birth; Place of Birth.
This volume contains the slave birth records for slave owners whose surnames begin with the letters D, E, F, and G, for the period of 1853-1865. I am more than willing to look up information for other names that this volume may cover. Please leave your query in the comments.
I love technology.
I love scanners, and computers, and on-line software, and blogs, and pack rat ancestors.
Oh, they are not technology. BUT I get to peek into their lives BECAUSE they were pack rats and I have technology.
Within a brown envelope of the Roanoke Photo Finishing Company, Roanoke, Virginia (just opposite the Post Office), saved by my father, were negative images of my dad, his brothers, his parents, and a little girl, just able to stand at her daddy’s knee. That dates the group portrait with my eldest cousin to 66 years ago. Now, IF all the other negatives belong to that same roll, the above image of Norman Scott Strickland was taken by a friend in 1947, presumably one of these folks:
Anyone have any clues about the photographers’ identity, please leave me a comment! And anyone knowing about 1940s cars, what make and model do I have here??
Sixty-one years ago, my mother left campus life behind to visit a little town a couple of hours south. In truth it wasn’t the little town she wanted to see, but the family of the man she loved.
Marilyn Minor was a junior occupational therapy major at the Richmond Polytechnic Institute that fall of 1952. Her man, Norman Strickland, was a junior transfer from RPI to Virginia Tech, where he was studying electrical engineering. Norman had been asked to come home for the weekend of September 20-21, because his brothers, Sidney, Clifford and Paul, were all coming to Chase City, bringing their wives and children. A conflicted Norman must have told his mother of his commitment to see Lyn that very weekend, and, as one can imagine, his mother offered a compromise that no one could turn down: ask Lyn to come along home with you!
As Norman proposed in a separate letter, received under separate cover, he would pick Lyn up that Sunday morning and take her back that night. They would be all together for church and lunch. These plans were made in early September as the young couple prepared to return to school, since Lyn would need both her parents’ permission and the school’s permission to leave campus. “I do hope you will come for the joy will be all mine,” wrote the Chase City boy.
The fact that my mother kept these letters suggests that Lyn dashed to her parents upon receiving the notes, and accepted the invitation before leaving her family home in Greene County, Pennsylvania. That year the fall equinox marked more than the changing of the seasons. The courtship of Lyn and Norman took a very serious turn.