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[665] by the successive losses of custom-house revenues in the rebel States, and the commercial crisis which had grown out of the political situation. On the 17th of December, Congress ordered the issue of treasury notes to the amount of ten million of dollars, redeemable in one year, the interest on which was not fixed, and which were to be awarded to the lowest bidders. It was only on the 19th of January that the new Secretary, Mr. Dix, succeeded in negotiating half of them, or five millions, at the exorbitant rate of 10.625 per cent. interest. On the 8th of February, 1861, both houses authorized a loan for the nominal amount of twenty-five millions at six per cent., the shares to be put up at auction and made redeemable within ten years, or twenty at the utmost; a portion of them were sold on the 27th of February, at between ninety and ninety-six cents on the dollar. Moreover, on the 2d of March, on the eve of adjournment, they empowered the government, after raising the tariffs of custom-house duties, to negotiate another loan of ten millions of similar bonds, with the privilege, if it was not all taken up, to supply the deficiency by treasury notes, with this restriction, however, that they were not to be put in circulation until the next fiscal year—that is to say, until after the 30th of June, 1861. Another issue of bonds at six per cent., redeemable in twenty years, to the amount of two million eight hundred thousand dollars, was granted for the special expenses of the Territories and of the Indian war of 1856, which had not yet been liquidated.

In forming his cabinet on the 5th of March, Mr. Lincoln entrusted the treasury department to Mr. Salmon P. Chase, a man of clear and vigorous intellect, whose financial acts and theories have been warmly discussed, but who certainly displayed great intelligence and determination of purpose in the midst of unheard-of difficulties. He devoted the first few weeks of his administration to the task of reorganizing his department, and succeeded in recovering the confidence of capitalists and of the public in behalf of his government.

The passage of the new tariff law of March 2d, which went into operation on the 1st of April, had, to a certain extent, relieved the credit of the Federal treasury; the Secretary took

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