2013 Student Research Conference:
26th Annual Student Research Conference

Salmon P. Chase: Forgotten Founder of the Republican Party
Michael J. Gambach
Dr. David Robinson and Dr. Mark Hanley, Faculty Mentors

Salmon P. Chase had a remarkable career. He was the first governor elected from the new Republican Party in Ohio, US Secretary of Treasury during the Civil War, and later Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He founded anti-slavery parties in Ohio and developed a national platform that led to Republican triumph. Yet for the vast majority of Americans and even historians he is forgotten. At what should have been the crowning moment of his career, the presidential nomination of 1860, he was ignored by the vast majority of Republicans and doomed to being a footnote to Abraham Lincoln. Chases political pragmatism and sharp understanding of the Midwest region set him up for success, yet personal conflicts scuttled his 1860 presidential run. Analysis of the events leading up to the nomination explains how such a talented and successful man could be cast aside at the last moment.

Keywords: Salmon P. Chase, Republican Party, Antebellum Politics, Slavery, Presidential Nomination, Ohio Politics

Topic(s):History Senior Seminar

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 203-4
Location: VH 1236
Time: 10:15

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