February 18, Thursday. Chase sent to my house this evening a miffy letter. I had written him freely and frankly my repugnance to the system of permits granted, or proposed to be granted, for cutting and collecting ship-timber. Heaton, his agent, proposed to stop granting more either from compunction or to give favorites a monopoly. I expressed my opposition to the whole system as demoralizing, and denied the right to give permits to commit waste. Chase takes exception and perhaps offense; says my letter reads like a lecture and is very unacceptable. Thinks I neither wrote nor read it.
I answered that I wrote it without suggestion from any one; that I was unreserved, and perhaps unfortunate, in my expressions, but that the opinions were honestly entertained and were my convictions, but I disclaimed any intention to lecture or give him offense. The party and political movements just at this time make Chase sensitive, and I award him due allowance.