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The Civil War Confiscation ActsFailing to Reconstruct the South$
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John Syrett

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780823224890

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823224890.001.0001

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The Treasury's Part in Confiscation

The Treasury's Part in Confiscation

(p.103) 7 The Treasury's Part in Confiscation
The Civil War Confiscation Acts

John Syrett

Fordham University Press

The Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase, had the greatest anti-slavery and radical reputation of the men Lincoln chose for the Cabinet. The first indication of Chase's cautious attitude toward using confiscation for abolition came in the fall of 1861. Chase was under pressure almost from the start of the war to establish a system that regulated and facilitated trade, particularly cotton, in the South. Treasury officials had no authority to direct agents to seek out confiscable property. Treasury agents generally relied upon the military to supply them with information about abandoned and confiscable property, but the military's knowledge of this property was incomplete since they occupied only some areas within a Special Agency. Commodore, a famous stallion worth at least sixteen thousand dollars, was the most valuable piece of property the military turned over to Treasury agents.

Keywords:   Salmon P. Chase, Treasury, Commodore, military, property, cotton, South, confiscation

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