Kate Chase was born in 1840 in Cincinnati, Ohio, the second daughter to the second wife of Salmon P. Chase. Her father was Abraham Lincoln's secretary of the treasury, and he aspired to even greater heights. Kate stepped into the role of establishing her thrice-widowed father in Washington society and as a future presidential candidate. Her efforts were successful enough that The Washington Star declared her 'the most brilliant woman of her day. None outshone her.' None, that is, but Mary Todd Lincoln. Though Mrs. Lincoln and her young rival held much in common they could never be friends, for the success of one could come only at the expense of the other.