of the Government
from the hour he took command.
The movement was to be slow, sometimes halting and apparently falling back, in some respects insignificant, in all respects desperate, but there was to be no permanent defeat and no compromise.
The espousal of Abolitionism by Mr. Chase
was a remarkable circumstance.
He was not an enthusiast like Garrison
and many other Anti-Slavery pioneers, but precisely the opposite.
He was cold-blooded and cool-headed, a deliberate and conservative man. His speeches were described as giving light but no heat.
His sympathies were seemingly weak, but his sense of justice was immense.
Apparently, he opposed slavery because it was wrong rather than because it was cruel.
He had a big body, a big head, and a big conscience, the combination making a strong man and a good fighter.
That he did, in fact, sympathize with the slaves was shown by his professional work in their behalf, more particularly in pleading without fee or other reward the cases of escaped fugitives in the courts.
So numerous were his engagements in this regard that his antagonists spoke of him sneeringly as the “Attorney-General
for runaway niggers.”
Upon some of his Anti-Slavery cases he bestowed an immense amount of work.
His argument in the case of Van Zant
— the original of Van Tromp
in Mrs. Stowe
's Uncle Tom's Cabin
,--an old man who was prosecuted and fined until he was financially ruined for giving a “lift” in his farm wagon to a slave family on its way to Canada
, was said at the time to