Salmon P. Chase, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice, U.S. Senator and Ohio Governor, returns to the Ohio Statehouse
June 16, 2015

Salmon P. Chase
The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB) has added a rare and historically significant piece of art to the Statehouse’s Capitol Collection Trust—established to preserve and collect furniture, antiques, and other items significant to the history of Ohio to be displayed at the Ohio Statehouse. The white marble bust of Salmon Portland Chase was executed by the noted Ohio artist Thomas Dow (T.D.) Jones.

“CSRAB is excited to obtain a piece of this caliber for all Ohioans to enjoy,” said William Carleton, executive director of CSRAB. “Chase played a leading role in state and national politics during the 19th century, and as the sixth chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, led the judicial branch from 1864 to 1873. The bust is a wonderful addition to the Capitol Collection.”

The Chase bust joins another famous Jones sculpture at the Ohio Statehouse. Jones was commissioned in the fall of 1860 to complete a bust of then president-elect Abraham Lincoln of Illinois. This bust is on display in the Rotunda of the Ohio Statehouse as part of the “Lincoln and Soldiers’ Monument” completed in 1871.

The life-size, white marble bust of Chase is clothed with a shirt, bow tie, and jacket and is draped with a robe. The head is turned slightly to the right with blank eyes in the Imperial Roman style. Chase’s daughter, Kate (Chase) Sprague, owned the marble bust now in the CSRAB Capitol Collection Trust. It is believed the bust was commissioned as a wedding gift for Kate who married in November 1863 when Chase was the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. Due to the high quality of the work, Jones used the CSRAB piece as a master-model for a bust commissioned by the U.S. Congress for the Supreme Court of the United States in 1874.

Chase was a leading abolitionist from Cincinnati, Ohio, one of the founders of the Republican Party in 1854 and Lincoln’s main rival for the 1860 Republican presidential nomination. Governor Chase was the first chief executive to occupy the “new” Ohio Statehouse in 1857, and it is Chase who oversaw the Ohio State Capitol Festival held January 6, 1857 to celebrate the building’s opening.

The welcome address Governor Chase gave to the 52nd Ohio General Assembly encapsulates his pride in the Ohio Statehouse and is a testament to the place the Ohio Capitol holds in the hearts of all Ohio citizens:

“In simplicity of Design, in harmony of Proportions, and in massive solidity of Structure, it stands, and may it long stand, a monument and symbol of the clear Faith, the well ordered Institutions, and the enduring Greatness of the People whose House it is.”

The Chase bust is on display in the Museum Gallery of the Ohio Statehouse opposite his main political rival, Abraham Lincoln.

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