California Money for the Union

As has been mentioned, the Golden State was very liberal with her gold in aiding the national cause. No claim or demand made by the national government was ever delayed or questioned. When Lincoln came to the Presidency, the finances of the country were in so deplorable a condition that Chase, Secretary of the Treasury, found it necessary to call on the people for contributions to keep the wheels of government in motion. California responded gladly and substantially. In all monetary matters—except the “Specific Contract” act, she (through the legislature) declared her devotion to the government; e. g., $24,600 was appropriated by the legislature to aid recruiting officers in filling up volunteer regiments, $100,000 to place the Coast in a more efficient state of defense, $600,000 for a soldiers’ relief fund, etc. Even the tax in 1864 on gold and silver bullion was patriotically paid without murmur of objection. And, it is generally conceded that the war could not have been carried oq by the North, had California not given of her wealth to the national treasury. General Grant, in fact, said: “I do not know what we could do in this great national emergency, were it not for the gold sent from California.”