The United States Treasury

The United States Treasury (HMJPV)

Location: Washington, DC 20004
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 53.809', W 77° 2.027'

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Civil War to Civil Rights

— Downtown Heritage Trail —

Billions for the war, and a bunker for the president
The grand, pillared United States Treasury building that stands before you, its first section designed by Robert Mills in 1836, was the financial command center for the Union. It was here between 1861 and 1865 that the Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase raised the unprecedented sum of $2.7 billion to finance the government and the war.

Chase issued bonds, instituted internal revenue taxes, printed paper money called "greenbacks" and created the first personal income tax in the United States. He also developed the nation's first system of national banks to provide financial stability - a network that remained in place until our present Federal Reserve System was devised early in the 20th century.

Activity swirled around this building throughout the war. The 5th Massachusetts camped out here, cooking in the courtyard, and the basement became a bunker for the president and his cabinet in case of Confederate attack. It was here, also, that the federal government, of necessity, hired large numbers of women for the first time. These "lady clerks," as they were called, trimmed by hand the huge sheets of paper greenbacks invented by Secretary Chase.

In 1863, the Treasury Building provided the setting for an experiment devised by President Lincoln. Here all loyal slave owners in the District of Columbia were paid to free their slaves - a model never carried out anywhere else in the country.
Series This marker is part of the Civil War to Civil Rights series
Marker NumberW.5
Placed ByCultural Tourism DC
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 6th, 2014 at 5:49pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 323627 N 4307292
Decimal Degrees38.89681667, -77.03378333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 53.809', W 77° 2.027'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 53' 48.54" N, 77° 2' 1.62" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 500-598 15th St NW, Washington DC 20004, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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