Salmon Chase was born in New Hampshire in 1808, the son of a farming family. He attended Dartmouth College from which he graduated in 1826. He studied law and was admitted to the District of Columbia Bar Association in 1829. Shortly thereafter he moved to Cincinnati and during the 1830s wrote a compendium of Ohio laws and statutes in three large volumes. In 1849, Chase was elected to the United States Senate from Ohio. A coalition of "free Soldiers" and Democrats won him the election even though he was a Republican. In 1855 Chase was elected Governor of the State of Ohio. Chase's prestige was so elevated nationally that he was considered for a run for the Presidency, but he requested that his name be withdrawn, and Lincoln gained the post in the pursuant election. The 1857 election gained Chase another term as governor and was the first Ohio Governor to use the Statehouse. When war broke out in 1861 Chase was appointed Secretary of the U. S. Treasury. There were those in the country that gave Chase as much credit for the North's victory as they did Grant. Shortly after the war, Chase was appointed to the U. S. Supreme Court by President Lincoln. Chase died in New York in 1873.
A self-taught portrait painter, Cogswell found home in Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis and California during his life. Portraits by Cogswell include: Lincoln, Grant and McKinley. His portrait, "President Grant and Family" hangs in the National portrait gallery collection in Washington, DC.