This Week in the Civil War - 699
On Thursday, November 12, 1863 in what was described as “the social event of the year,” Kate Chase, eldest daughter of United States Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, married Rhode Island senator William Sprague.
Salmon Chase’s presidential ambitions had long constituted the ruling passions of Kate’s life. She made herself absolutely essential to her father, helping with his correspondence, editing his speeches, discussing political strategy, and entertaining his friends and colleagues.
While other girls focused on the social calendar, Kate concentrated all her energies on furthering her father’s political career.
In an elaborate ceremony attended by President Lincoln, Kate--who considered herself the reigning social queen of Washington--believed that her marriage to Sprague would enhance politically her father’s presidential aspirations, while reinforcing her appropriate place atop Washington society.