Salmon Portland Chase (1808-1873) served as Chief Justice of the United States from 1861-1864. As an early champion of the anti-abolition movement, he is credited with the "Slave Power Thesis" well before it was articulated by Abraham Lincoln.
After studying law with Attorney General William Wirt in Washington, D.C., Chase passed the bar and moved to Cincinnati, Ohio where he quickly rose to prominence within the judicial community. Shortly after his arrival in Ohio, Chase became aware of the far-reaching influence of Southern business connections in Cincinnati, which caused him to associate himself with the anti-slavery movement. Chase was dubbed "Attorney General of Fugitive Slaves" following his argument before the U.S. Supreme Court in Jones v. Van Zandt, a court case which tested the constitutionality of freed slave laws.