Salmon Portland Chase (1808-1873)

Death of the Chief Justice

Chase was stricken with a stroke at the home of his daughter Nettie in New York City. He succumbed to death on May 7, 1873 with his two daughters and Senator William Sprague at his side.

A funeral was held in the Episcopal Church of St. George in New York City. On May 11 the body was taken back to Washington, D.C. for a formal state funeral. The Chief Justice laid in State in the Old Senate Chambers on the same catafalque that had held the brier of President Lincoln.[26] He was laid to rest at the Oak Hill cemetery outside of the capital. In 1886, the State of Ohio requested that it's favorite son be buried in Cincinnati. Salmon Chase and his daughter Kate who died in poverty in 1899 rest together at the Spring Grove Cemetery outside Chase's beloved Cincinnati.

Salmon Portland Chase's ambition to be president for the 'good of the country' will always be remembered more so than his abilities as the man who hated slavery, suffering both personal and financial losses but continuing to be committed that slavery was a sin, as a senator who organized the Republican party; a governor who ahead of his time did not believe capital punishment was a deterrent to crime and improved the State of Ohio correctional facilities; as a Treasury Secretary with a small amount of specie in the treasury to finance a war that was not supposed to last as long as it did. Only by students of the Supreme Court will Chase be remembered as the man who prevented what may have been a major national crisis so soon after the Civil War, with his insistence of a judicial atmosphere at the Impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson. His performance in preventing any major confrontations with the Congress over the reconstruction of the south make it clearly evident that Salmon P. Chase was a capable Chief Justice and a statesman of high order. In 1934 the United States Treasury honored the memory of the Treasury Secretary by placing his portrait on the ten thousand federal reserve note.