Manuscripts/Mixed Material Letter from Salmon Portland Chase to Irwin McDowell. March 30, 1865.
My dear General:
I must trust to your benignity in past to the validity of my apology for pardon of the delay which seems to accuse me of lack of appreciation of the kindness of your letter of congratulation. My apology is constant and unaccustomed work: from which I might have extorted time enough for a letter; for omitting which extortion I trust to your benignity.
Be assured that no voice of congratulation was more welcome than yours; for on no one's friendship do I offer greater thanks. And I am sure that you speak from the heart.
I am not sure that I acted wisely in accepting my present position. It is high and honorable and mere ambition of distinction might well be satisfied with it. But I have so long taken an active part in shaping events,that I find it a task in adjusting case, however important, as somewhat irksome. This irksomeness, perhaps, will wear away; and there is so much to make my position agreeable. The generous public confidence which has been so freely accorded to me in my old seems to attend me in my new work; and my associates on the bench are all men of learning, integrity & admirable social qualities. I like them and they seem to like me.