Back to former Ohio governors
Salmon Portland Chase

Gov. Salmon Portland Chase

  • January 14, 1856 - January 9, 1860
  • Republican
  • January 13, 1808
  • May 7, 1873
  • New Hampshire
  • Cincinnati College; Dartmouth College
  • Married twice—Kate Jane Garniss, Eliza Ann Smith; six children
  • Senator, Cabinet secretary, Supreme Court


SALMON P. CHASE, the twenty-third governor of Ohio, was born in Cornish, New Hampshire on January 13, 1808. His education was attained at Worthington Church School, Cincinnati College, and at Dartmouth College, where he graduated in 1826. He went on to study law in Washington, D.C., and then established his legal career in Cincinnati, Ohio. Chase first entered politics as a member of the Cincinnati city council, a position he won election to in 1840. He also served as a member of the U.S. Senate from 1849 to 1855. Chase next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in the 1855 general election. He was reelected to a second term in 1857. During his tenure, a state geological survey was initiated; a railroad commission was formed; a woman’s property rights bill was sanctioned; and a bureau of statistics was organized. After leaving the governorship, Chase won reelection to the U.S. Senate. However, two days after taking his senatorial seat he resigned. He then assumed an appointment in President Lincoln’s cabinet, serving as secretary of the treasury from 1861 to 1864. Chase also was a member of the 1861 peace convention in Washington, D.C. In his last position, he served as chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, a post he held from 1864 to 1873, and from which he presided over President Andrew Johnson’s impeachment trial. Governor Salmon P. Chase passed away on May 7, 1873. His final resting place was at the Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

The Ohio Historical Center

Recent Ohio Governors